German stocks were little changed, paring earlier losses, after an eight-day rally pushed the benchmark DAX Index to the highest level since July.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG, Germany’s largest carmakers, slipped more than 1 percent. Aixtron SE fell after HSBC Holdings Plc downgraded the shares.
The DAX declined 3.6, or 0.1 percent, to 7,154.22 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The volume of shares changing hands was 19 percent less than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge rose 4 percent last week as economic data in Germany and the U.S. boosted shares. The broader HDAX Index also fell 0.1 percent today.
Investors are “looking to lock in some profits after last week’s immense run-up,” said Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London.
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders held in March at the highest level since June 2007. The reading of 28 in the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence was less than projected and followed a February figure that was lower than initially reported, data from the group showed today. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.
Other reports this week may show U.S. home purchases climbed in February to the highest level in almost two years and home construction improved.
BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, fell 1.6 percent to 71.84 euros as a gauge of carmakers declined the most out of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, dropped 1.5 percent to 139.2 euros. Porsche SE dropped 2.2 percent to 46.51.
Aixtron, which manufactures equipment for the semiconductor industry, slid 1.9 percent to 14.22 euros after HSBC downgraded the stock to underweight, meaning investors should hold fewer of the shares than represented in benchmark indexes, from neutral.
Deutsche Telekom AG gained 1.3 percent to 8.99 euros as a measure of telecom shares led gains on the Stoxx 600.
Solarworld AG, Germany’s largest solar-panel maker added 5.4 percent to 3.29 euros. A ruling by the U.S. Commerce Department that may result in duties on imported Chinese solar-energy equipment is scheduled for release tomorrow.
Xing AG, a professional-networking website, surged 15 percent to 56.52 euros. German publisher Hubert Burda may increase his stake in the company by 9.58 percentage points, WirtschaftsWoche reported.