German stocks were little changed, after the DAX (DAX) Index closed at a five-week low, as investors awaited data on U.S. retail sales for signs of how the world’s biggest economy recovered from the harsh winter.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG rallied 6.1 percent after the airline reinstated dividend payments and reiterated a target to triple operating profit within two years. SAF-Holland SA rose 6.5 percent after the auto-parts maker predicted profit will jump about 18 percent in 2014. K+S AG (SDF) lost 3.8 percent after Europe’s largest potash supplier said 2014 earnings will drop significantly because of lower prices for the crop nutrient.
The DAX fell less than 0.1 percent to 9,186.77 at 9:29 a.m. in Frankfurt. The measure has lost 5.7 percent since a record on Jan. 17 amid signs China’s economy is slowing and concern that Russian military intervention in Ukraine could lead to sanctions and trade disruptions. The HDAX Index declined less than 0.1 percent today after also closing at a five-week low yesterday.
The number of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 34 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days at this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Commerce Department data at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will show U.S. retail sales rose 0.2 in February from a month earlier, according to the median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Winter storms contributed to the biggest drop in sales last month since June 2012. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy.
A separate report at the same time may show more Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 8. Claims probably increased to 330,000 from 323,000 in the earlier period, economists projected.
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