European shares retreat from highs, dragged lower by automakers
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.9 pct, below 7-1/2 year high
* Peugeot falls as car sales growth lower than sector
* DAX underperform as ZEW survey lower than expected
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - European shares retreated from a 7-1/2-year high on Tuesday, with PSA Peugeot Citroen leading automakers lower after the release of car sales data and a German economic sentiment survey coming in below expectations.
Germany's DAX, down 1.6 percent, underperformed the broader market after hitting a new record high in the previous session. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index index was down 0.9 percent at 1,580.58 points at 1129 GMT after hitting a 7-1/2-year high of 1,598.03 earlier in the session.
The STOXX Europe Automobiles and Parts index fell 2.7 percent, the top sectoral decliner, dragged down by a 7.8 percent fall in Peugeot after the automaker's vehicle sales rose less than the sector in February.
"The new car sales from Peugeot are disappointing. Peugeot underperformed the European auto market in February with an increase limited at 1.1 percent," a Paris-based trader said.
Data from the Association of European Carmakers (ACEA) showed new car registrations in Europe rose 7 percent in the month of February, fuelled by double-digit sales growth in Italy and Spain. Continuación...