Bloomberg News

German Stocks Decline Before Finance Ministers Meeting

February 12, 2013

German stocks were little changed as declines in carmakers offset a gain in Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and investors awaited U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG dropped 1.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, as a gauge of carmakers fell the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. ThyssenKrupp AG slid after it reported a decline in quarterly earnings. Lufthansa added 1.5 percent after DZ Bank AG upgraded its recommendation on the shares.

The DAX retreated less than 0.1 percent to 7,632.0 at 10:30 a.m. in Frankfurt. A tightening election contest in Italy and political scandal in Spain have disrupted market calm, paring gains made by the benchmark this year after U.S. lawmakers agreed on a compromise budget to 0.3 percent. The broader HDAX Index added less than 0.1 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX was 11 percent less than the average over the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight. He will make proposals for spending on infrastructure, clean energy and education, according to an administration official briefed on the speech. Obama will argue that fostering economic growth remains the best strategy to narrow a federal budget gap that has exceeded $1 trillion in each of the last four years.

EU finance ministers meet in Brussels today to discuss the bloc’s budget for next year.

Carmakers Decline

Daimler AG, the third-biggest maker of luxury cars, fell 69 cents to 44.30 euros. BMW, the largest maker of luxury cars, lost 51 cents to 71.56 euros. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, slipped percent 0.5 percent to 178 euros.

Continental AG, Europe’s second largest auto-parts supplier, lost 1.2 percent to 86.86 euros.

ThyssenKrupp retreated 1 percent to 17.58 euros. Germany’s biggest steelmaker reported adjusted earnings for the first fiscal quarter that fell 38 percent.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell to 229 million euros ($307 million) from 372 million a year earlier, the Essen, Germany-based company said today in a statement. Adjusted earnings were more than the 211.8 million-euro average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Lufthansa, Europe’s second-biggest airline, added 22 cents to 15 euros as DZ Bank raised its recommendation on the stock to buy from hold, forecasting a 12-month price target of 17.50 euros on the shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

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