Bloomberg News

German Stocks Fall; DAX Posts Biggest Weekly Loss of 2012

May 18, 2012

German stocks retreated for a fifth day, extending the biggest weekly drop of the year, as automakers fell amid signs China’s economy is slowing.

Volkswagen AG (VOW) and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) dropped at least 2 percent. Solarworld AG (SWV) surged 6.5 percent after the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese solar companies.

The DAX (DAX) Index fell 0.6 percent to 6,271.22 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, after earlier gaining as much as 0.4 percent and sinking as much as 1.3 percent. The benchmark gauge has retreated 4.7 percent this week, the largest drop since Dec. 16, amid growing concern that Greece will leave the euro area. The broader HDAX Index slid 0.8 percent today.

Moody’s lowered debt ratings at 16 Spanish banks, citing mounting loan losses, the country’s recession, restricted access to funds and the reduced ability of the government to support lenders as its own creditworthiness diminishes.

Greece’s credit grade was cut one level by Fitch Ratings on concern the country won’t muster the political support needed to sustain its euro membership as leaders began campaigning ahead of the second national vote in six weeks.

Group of Eight leaders meet today at a summit at Camp David, the U.S. presidential retreat in Maryland. The agenda for the meeting includes Greece’s debt crisis, global food security and the role of strategic oil reserves in cushioning any economic shocks from a European Union ban on Iranian imports that begins July.

Chinese Economy

In China, reports today showed house prices fell in a record number of cities in April and car dealers posted inventory levels that signaled deeper price cuts.

Prices of new homes declined from a year earlier in 46 of the 70 cities tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics, the agency said today. Dealerships for Honda Motor Co., Chery Automobile Co., BYD Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. had more than 45 days of inventory at the end of last month, according to an official from the government-backed China Automobile Dealers Association.

Preferred shares of Volkswagen, the world’s second-biggest carmaker, dropped 2 percent to 128.20 euros, a three-week low. BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, fell 2.3 percent to 61.31 euros. Daimler AG (DAI) slid 1.6 percent to 37.04 euros. A gauge of automakers was the worst performer of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Adidas AG (ADS), the world’s second-biggest sporting-goods maker, fell 2 percent to 59.20 euros.

Infineon Slides

Infineon Technologies AG (IFX), Europe’s second-largest maker of semiconductors, dropped 3.6 percent to 6.20 euros, dropping for a third day. SAP AG, the biggest maker of software used to run enterprises, slid for a fifth day, falling 2.4 percent to 46.39 euros.

Solarworld surged 6.5 percent to 1.62 euros. The U.S. Commerce Department imposed preliminary anti-dumping tariffs of 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese solar-product imports, siding with companies including Solarworld in the U.S. that said the items were sold below the cost of production.

Solarworld got 21 percent of revenue from the U.S. last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Wacker Chemie AG (WCH), the German provider of polysilicon, added 2.3 percent to 57.87 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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