German stocks fell as protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule intensified with clashes erupting in central Cairo.
MAN SE and BASF SE both retreated. Porsche SE gained after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended buying the stock. SAP AG rallied to a four-year high as Goldman Sachs raised the stock to “conviction buy.”
The benchmark DAX lost 0.7 percent to 7,102.80 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Frankfurt, trimming its weekly advance to 0.6 percent. The measure has gained 2.7 percent this year as reports suggested the global economy is recovering and investors bet that Europe’s leaders will increase their efforts to contain the region’s debt crisis. The broader HDAX Index also fell 0.7 percent today.
“The market is clearly focusing on the Egypt events and what effects they could have on neighboring nations,” said Luis Benguerel, a trader at Interbrokers in Barcelona, Spain. “There are companies directly involved in that country but also the concern is the effect on commodities markets. Should they close the Suez canal, that would affect global trade.”
Mubarak, in his role as military leader, ordered the army to help police implement a curfew from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the capital, and in Alexandria and Suez, state television said.
Tens of thousands of marchers chanted “liberty” and “change” as rallies began today at points across Cairo, a city of 17 million. Officers fired tear gas to try to prevent them from reaching Tahrir Square and police trucks were hit with rocks. Clouds of smoke billowed from the area, where Al Jazeera television said one woman died and plainclothes policemen beat people with batons. Protesters hijacked four security trucks.
Stocks erased gains earlier after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of U.S. consumer sentiment decreased to 74.2 from 74.5 in December.
“Consumer confidence was the trigger for the market drop,” said Stefan Risse, a strategist at CMC Markets in Hamburg, said. “We’re still in this January mood where the market likes to have a correction.”
U.S. gross domestic product climbed at a 3.2 percent annual pace from October through December, falling short of the 3.5 percent median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and restrained by the biggest drag from inventories in two decades, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington.
MAN SE, Europe’s third-largest maker of commercial vehicles, declined for the first time in four days, losing 3.1 percent to 85.36 euros. Daimler AG, the world’s biggest, declined 2 percent to 54.80 euros. BASF, the world’s biggest chemicals company, lost 2 percent to 56.29 euros.
TUI AG fell 1.4 percent to 10.28 euros, ending two days of gains, as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak imposed a curfew in the cities of Cairo, Suez and Alexandria after a day of clashes between police and protesters demanding the end of his regime, state television said.
TUI Deutschland GmbH, TUI AG’s German travel unit, said on Jan. 16 that most of the 1,000 customers holidaying in Tunisia were evacuated from the North African country after violent street protests forced the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Porsche, the maker of the 911 sports car, rose 1.3 percent to 69 euros as Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral.”
Leoni AG climbed 2 percent to 32.42 euros after Germany’s biggest maker of automotive electrical cables was raised to “neutral” from “sell” at Goldman Sachs.
SAP, the world’s largest maker of business-management software, gained 0.9 percent to 42.15 euros, the highest price in since January 2007. Goldman Sachs raised the stock to “buy” from “neutral” and added it to its “conviction buy” list, saying the company “is set to benefit from a stage of cyclical recovery in discretionary IT spending, kick-starting a rebound in developed market license growth.”