BASF SE (BAS) and Siemens AG (SIE) led the retreat, losing 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. SGL Carbon SE (SGL) fell 3 percent after saying it will issue 240 million euros ($314 million) of convertible notes. ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA), Germany’s biggest steelmaker, rose 3 percent after J&E Davy Holdings Ltd. recommended buying the stock.
The DAX Index (DAX) fell 1 percent to 6,732.03 at the close in Frankfurt. The benchmark measure has retreated 6 percent from its 2012 high on March 16 as Spanish debt risk rose to a record. Spain will tomorrow seek to sell 2.5 billion euros of two- and 10-year bonds, according to the nation’s debt agency. The HDAX Index also lost 1 percent today.
“Investors are cautious ahead of the Spanish debt auction tomorrow as there are no other major indicators to guide markets today,” said Ole Kjaer Jensen, head of share trading at Aabenraa, Denmark-based Sydbank A/S. “People are still unsure about what to expect from Spain and are selling some stocks after the strong gains yesterday.”
German banks fell as data showed non-performing loans for Spanish banks as a proportion of total lending jumped to 8.16 percent in February, the highest level since 1994. That compared with less than 1 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of Spain. The total credit in the economy that the regulator lists as “doubtful” reached 143.8 billion euros.
European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said that the limits of the ECB’s bond-purchase program have “become apparent,” Reuters reported.
Italy’s government revised its budget-deficit goal for 2013 to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product from a previous target of 0.1 percent, the Cabinet said in an e-mailed statement after a meeting in Rome.
Italy’s economy will shrink 1.2 percent this year before expanding 0.5 percent next year, said the Cabinet, which revised its three-year economic plan today. The government had forecast a contraction of 0.5 percent this year.
BASF AG, the world’s largest chemical maker, dropped 1.3 percent to 64.72 euros after Syngenta AG, the biggest maker of crop-protection chemicals, reported that crop protection and seeds sales missed some estimates.
Siemens, Europe’s biggest engineering company, declined 2.5 percent to 71.14 euros. Siemens and BASF together constitute 19 percent of the DAX’s weight.
SGL Carbon fell 3 percent to 34.15 euros. The German maker of carbon materials will issue 240 million euros of convertible notes and use the proceeds to fund an acquisition and the expansion of its Chinese graphite-production facilities.
ThyssenKrupp rose 3 percent to 18.53 euros after Davy equity analyst Killian Murphy raised his recommendation to outperform, the equivalent of buy, from underperform.
Aixtron SE dropped 3 percent to 13.62 euros after Cree Inc., a U.S. producer of materials for the semiconductor industry, missed analysts’ estimates for its quarterly earnings and sales.
Sky Deutschland dropped 8.7 percent to 1.96 euros. The stock advanced 7 percent yesterday as the broadcaster retained the rights to show live pay-TV German soccer matches.
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