German stocks declined as investors awaited Wednesday’s release of Federal Reserve minutes amid speculation the U.S. central bank will reduce stimulus measures.
ThyssenKrupp AG, the largest German steelmaker, lost 2.7 percent as Focus magazine reported that a potential European Commission ruling against power-tax reductions granted to German industries could threaten the viability of its steel business. HeidelbergCement AG (HEI) slid 2.5 percent as UBS AG downgraded rival cement makers Holcim Ltd. Zooplus AG jumped 6 percent after second-quarter revenue beat analysts’ estimates.
The DAX Index (DAX) slipped 0.6 percent to 8,339.51 at 10:55 a.m. in Frankfurt. The benchmark gauge rose 0.6 percent last week and has rallied 9.6 percent this year as central banks maintained monetary stimulus. The broader HDAX Index also retreated 0.6 percent today.
“There is a bad mood coming from America,” Robert Halver, head of capital markets research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “Tapering is coming. It’s a new world, terra incognita, for what tapering could mean for the market as we have no historical benchmark.”
The Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its July 30-31 meeting will be released on Aug. 21. The publication will provide details about discussions that led to the continuation of the Fed’s $85 billion pace of monthly bond purchases and to a warning about the potential risks from inflation below the central bank’s 2 percent goal.
The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 28 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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