RTTNews - The European markets fell for the first time in three days on Monday, as Daimler and Volkswagen led automotive stocks lower following broker downgrades and Lloyds Banking Group paced declines among banking stocks after a newspaper report that Britain's biggest mortgage lender may consider a multi-billion pound share issue.

Crude for September delivery fell $0.33 to $70.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed.

The FTSEurfirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.60% lower at 944.64 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.57% to 2,343.45 points.

Around Europe, France's CAC 40 index fell 0.47% to 3,504.54 and Germany's DAX index slipped 0.75% to 5,418.12, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.68% to 4,722.20.

Daimler, the world's second biggest luxury carmaker, slid 3.7% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares tounderweight from overweight, while Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, lost 7.5% after HSBC downgraded the stock to underweight from neutral.

Lloyds fell 4% after the Times newspaper said the company may seek to raise as much as £15 billion in a share sale.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain's second largest bank, slipped 3.6% and Barclays, the third largest, fell 1.8%.

On the other hand, British life insurer Friends Provident climbed 7.3% after the company said it has agreed to talks with suitor Resolution following receipt of a revised offer valuing it at $3.2 billion.

French advertising and communications company Publicis Groupe surged up 4.3% after the company said it has agreed to buy the Razorfish advertising agency from Microsoft for $530 million.

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