German stocks dropped to a one-week low as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting signaled the central bank is moving closer to reducing the pace of its monetary stimulus.
Salzgitter AG (SZG) slid 1.7 percent as MainFirst Bank AG advised investors to sell shares in the steelmaker. BASF SE and HeidelbergCement AG (HEI) slipped as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its ratings on the chemicals and industrial-goods industries. Allianz SE fell 2.3 percent as Citigroup Inc. downgraded its recommendation on the stock.
The DAX Index (DAX) lost 0.8 percent to 9,133.38 at 9:43 a.m. in Frankfurt. The benchmark measure has surged 20 percent in 2013 as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period. The broader HDAX Index also declined 0.8 percent.
Fed policy makers “generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months,” according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Oct. 29-30 gathering, released yesterday in Washington.
Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard will speak on the economy and monetary policy from 11:50 a.m. in Rogers, Arkansas, while Fed Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker is scheduled to speak in Asheboro, North Carolina from 12:30 p.m. local time.
In China, a gauge of manufacturing activity slipped for the first time in four months. The preliminary 50.4 reading for the November Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics trailed a 50.8 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Levels above 50 indicate expansion.
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