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Weak forecast hits Fiat shares

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Weak forecast hits Fiat shares

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Tuesday was a rollercoaster day for Fiat’s share. First they rose after its US unit Chrysler reported an 80 percent increase in quarterly net profit, but then fell so quickly that trading was suspended for while.

That was because the company cut its full-year targets to the lower end of previous forecasts.

It also said the austerity-hit European market would remain weak at least into 2014.

Investors were particularly spooked by Fiat’s higher than expected net industrial debt in the third quarter results – 6.7 billion against a consensus forecast of 6.5 billion euros.

Trading profit rose to 951 million euros, above analysts’ forecast of 910 million euros.

“Events of the past 12 months have reinforced out negative view of the development of the European markets,” Fiat said.

Trading loss in Europe, where competitors such as Peugeot , Ford and Opel are also struggling, was 238 million euros, double the level of a year ago.

Europe’s debt crisis, government spending cuts and high unemployment have hit consumer budgets and sent demand plunging. New car registrations in the region showing their sharpest contraction in 12 months in September.