European Stocks Down On US Auto Worries

European stock markets are lower on concerns that ailing US automakers will be allowed to go to the wall.

GM and Chrysler are said to be set to run out of cash possibly as soon as Christmas, with Ford Motors not far behind.

Any potential bailout of the US auto industry appears to be going to have to wait for Barak Obama to sanction when he formally takes office in January.

The markets are worried that one or maybe more of the US Big Three will be gone by then.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 98.62 points, or 2.34 percent, at 4,109.93, while Germany's DAX was 153.73 points lower, or 3.36 percent, at 4,425.74. The CAC-40 in France was down 71.12 points, or 2.21 percent, at 3,146.28.

In the UK, one of the days biggest losers was DSG International, the owners of PC World and Currys, down over 17% to a new low of 13.25 pence, after Citi analysts slash their price target on Europe's second-biggest electrical goods retailer and amid jitters ahead of interim results next week, following a gloomy update from Carphone Warehouse.

In Germany BASF has said it will temporarily close 80 plants worldwide due to a "massive" demand decline in key industries, particularly the auto industry. BASF shares led declines in the DAX, down 16% on the day.