German stocks were little changed, erasing earlier declines, as the U.S. economy expanded more than previously estimated in the second quarter.
Deutsche Post AG rose 1.1 percent. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) dropped 1.3 percent as the airline’s main cabin crew union plans to strike after it called off wage talks. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG lost 0.5 percent. Q-Cells SE plunged the most in nearly five months after its creditors approved selling the company to Hanwha Group.
The DAX (DAX) rose 0.1 percent to 7,010.57 at the close in Frankfurt. The benchmark measure has climbed 17 percent from its 2012 low on June 5 as policy makers agreed to recapitalize Spanish banks and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi promised to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. The broader HDAX Index added 0.2 percent today.
“The health of the U.S. economy will once again be at the forefront of markets’ focus today and the expectation that the Fed Chairman will fire the starting gun on another round of easing,” said Michael Hewson, a market analyst at CMC Markets U.K. Plc, referring to a potential third program of stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will make his annual speech at the central bank’s symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Aug. 31. His 2010 address was followed by a second round of bond purchases to ease financial woes in the world’s largest economy.
In the U.S., gross domestic product climbed at a 1.7 percent annual rate from April through June, up from an initial estimate of 1.5 percent, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The figure matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The revised data showed companies invested in new equipment at the slowest pace in almost three years.
Deutsche Post, the world’s biggest carrier of air and sea freight by volume, added 1.1 percent to 15.53 euros.
Lufthansa slipped 1.3 percent to 9.71 euros. The Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation said yesterday that it’s planning unlimited strikes as early as this week after wage negotiations with Europe’s second-largest airline broke down.
BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, lost 0.5 percent to 60.21 euros.
Q-Cells, a maker of solar cells, slumped 26 percent to 11.2 euro cents, the biggest drop since April 2. The company said today its creditors backed an agreement allowing South Korea’s Hanwha to buy its plants in Germany and Malaysia and sales units in the U.S., Australia and Japan. Hanwha will pay as much as 40 million euros ($50 million) for the units, and assume 850 million ringgit ($272 million) of debt guaranteed by Q-Cells Malaysia.
Metro AG (MEO), Germany’s biggest retailer, slipped 0.5 percent to 23.77 euros. The company’s loss of market value may lead to a stepdown to the MDAX Index, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing calculations by index analysts.
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