European equities finish lower as automobile stocks slip
(Updates with closing prices)
* Rise in euro weighs on European stocks
* Mining shares outperform post-Fed
* Vienna Insurance, Immofinanz fall sharply
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - European equities ended lower after a choppy session on Thursday, dragged down by exporters as the euro strengthened against the dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve flagged fewer rate rises this year than previously expected.
Mining companies, however, were among the beneficiaries as a weaker dollar made metals more affordable to consumers who buy them in non-dollar denominated currencies, boosting metals such as copper and aluminium.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, Germany's DAX and France's CAC closed 0.1 to 0.9 percent lower, a day after the Fed held rates steady and indicated that while moderate U.S. economic growth and "strong job gains" would allow it to raise rates this year, policymakers now expect two quarter-point increases by the end of the year, half the number forecast in December.
The European automobile index slipped by 1.1 percent, pressured by falls of between 1.2 percent and 2.0 percent for BMW, Daimler, Renault and Peugeot, which feature among the big European exporters. Continuación...