German stocks were little changed after a three-day drop, with Commerzbank AG sliding, while factory orders in Europe’s largest economy unexpectedly fell.
Commerzbank retreated 3.5 percent after first-quarter profit missed analyst projections. Henkel AG advanced 3.5 percent after posting earnings that beat estimates. Siemens AG (SIE) added 2.3 percent after agreeing to buy some Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc energy assets and saying it will list its hearing-aid unit.
The DAX Index (DAX) dropped 0.1 percent to 9,454.27 at 10:23 a.m. in Frankfurt. The equity gauge has lost 3 percent from a record on Jan. 17 as Russia annexed Crimea and the West responded with sanctions. The HDAX Index slid 0.2 percent today.
“The markets aren’t quite where we thought they would be, even with a lot more clarity now on earnings,” said Michael Ingram, a market strategist at BGC Brokers LP in London. “Ukraine is an issue that’s overhanging markets, and the manufacturing number out this morning hasn’t helped.”
Orders (GRIORTMM), adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, fell 2.8 percent in March from February, when they increased a revised 0.9 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.3 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.
The U.S. urged Ukraine to proceed with its May 25 presidential election, rejecting Russia’s calls to postpone the vote as the government in Kiev waged an offensive against separatists in the country’s east and south. Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday the U.S. remains poised to impose sanctions on industries “if Russian elements continue to sabotage the democratic process” in Ukraine.
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