Vienna — Specialty steelmaker Voestalpine expects further downward pressure on earnings from a slowing European economy, it says after a swing to a quarterly loss knocked 5% off its share price. The European steel sector is navigating choppy waters as the car industry, one of its main customers, is slowing and pressure on oil prices has dampened demand from the oil equipment industry. Voestalpine issued its second profit warning in four months in January and its statement on Thursday sent its shares down as much as 5.6%. Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu and German steelmaker Salzgitter also warned of weaker profits. Voestalpine, whose share price fell by nearly half last year, reported a net loss of €40.5m for the October-December quarter. That compared to a net profit of €167m in the same period a year earlier. Besides overall weak sentiment, slower demand from the automotive industry, stand-stills at its plant in Texas, operating problems in another US plant and provisions ...

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