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German Stocks Fall After ECB Lends to Banks; SAP Shares Decline

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Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks retreated as borrowing costs increased for Italy and Spain amid fading optimism that the European Central Bank’s loans to euro-area lenders will stem the sovereign-debt crisis.

SAP AG and Software AG led declines after Oracle Corp., the world’s second-biggest maker of business-management software, missed analysts’ estimates.

The DAX Index dropped 1 percent to 5,791.53 at the close in Frankfurt after earlier advancing as much as 2 percent and retreating as much as 1.3 percent. The benchmark measure has fallen 16 percent this year amid concern that policy makers are struggling to contain the region’s debt crisis. The broader HDAX Index lost 0.9 percent today.

“It could continue to be a very difficult and volatile environment,” said Tristan Hanson, head of asset allocation at Ashburton Ltd. in Jersey, the Channel Islands. “That doesn’t mean that equities will not rise over the year, but I don’t expect it to be an easy ride.”

The Frankfurt-based ECB awarded 489 billion euros ($638 billion) in three-year loans, more than the median estimate of 293 billion euros by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The ECB said 523 banks asked for the funds, which it will lend at the average of its benchmark rate over the term of the loans.

Yields on Spain’s two-year notes advanced 29 basis points to 3.64 percent. They earlier fell as much as 11 basis points. Yields on benchmark 10-year bonds rose 21 basis points to 5.27 percent, trimming a six-day decline. Italy’s two-year yields added 11 basis points to 5.09 percent.

SAP, the world’s biggest maker of business software, declined 6.1 percent to 39.92 euros after Oracle Corp. posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates, hurt by slower demand for databases, applications and computer servers. Software AG slid 4.9 percent to 27.25 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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