LONDON (Reuters) - European autos stocks were the worst performing equity market sector on Wednesday, following a report that suggested there was potential for China to impose higher tariffs on cars.

A government-affiliated auto research body expert told China's Global Times newspaper that China should raise its import tariffs on large gasoline-powered cars to 25%, as the country faces sharply higher U.S. auto import duties and possibly additional duties to enter the European Union.

An index of European carmakers was last down 1.8% - making it the worst-performing sector - having pulled back from a 2.4% drop earlier in the session. The broader STOXX 600 which was last down 0.3%.

Germany carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz were last down 2.2% and 1.5%, respectively. Italian-American automaker Stellantis was down 0.9% having fallen as much as 1.9% earlier in the session.

French car parts maker Valeo was last down 2.5%.

(Reporting by Lucy Raitano; Editing by Amanda Cooper and Louise Heavens)