German Stocks Fall; DAX Posts First Monthly Drop of 2012

German stocks fell, with the benchmark DAX Index posting its first monthly loss this year, as Spain reentered a recession and a U.S. gauge showed a larger drop in business activity than forecast.

Deutsche Boerse AG slid 2 percent after New York-based rival NYSE Euronext reported a decline in profit. Adidas AG rallied 5.3 percent to a record high after reporting better-than-estimated net income and raising its 2012 outlook.

The DAX slipped 0.6 percent to 6,761.19 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The gauge has lost 2.7 percent in April, trimming its gains so far this year to 15 percent, as higher Spanish bond yields renewed concern the region’s sovereign-debt crisis may deepen. The broader HDAX Index also dropped 0.6 percent today.

“Worse-than-expected economic data out of the U.S. left European equities ending the month of April on a rather sour note,” said Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London. “In light of tomorrow’s Labor Day and the second round of French presidential elections being not far off, many traders are preferring to take a wait-and-see attitude by taking some money off the table until things are clearer.”

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 32 percent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The German market is closed tomorrow for the May Day holiday.

Spanish Recession

In Spain, gross domestic product fell 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the same as in the previous three months, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said. That compares with the Bank of Spain’s estimate on April 23 of a 0.4 percent decline. From a year ago, GDP fell 0.4 percent, INE said.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its U.S. business barometer dropped to 56.2 in April from 62.2 a month earlier, lower than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Economists had projected the gauge would fall to 60, according to the median of 55 estimates in the survey. Readings greater than 50 signal growth.

German retail sales rebounded in March as declining unemployment, slowing inflation and higher wages bolstered the household purchasing power. Sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, rose 0.8 percent from February, when they fell a revised 0.9 percent. Economists forecast a gain of 1 percent, the median projection in a Bloomberg survey. Sales increased 2.3 percent from a year earlier.

Deutsche Boerse

Deutsche Boerse fell 2 percent to 47.43 euros, the first drop in five days. NYSE Euronext, the exchange blocked from merging with Deutsche Boerse in February, reported a 44 percent decline in first-quarter profit on expenses related to the takeover and a slowdown in trading.

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, retreated 1.9 percent to 32.87 euros.

MAN SE, the German truckmaker controlled by Volkswagen AG, slid 3.1 percent to 95.44 euros.

HeidelbergCement AG, the world’s third-largest cement maker, fell 1.9 percent to 41.54 euros.

Bayer AG, the maker of drugs and chemicals, dropped 1.5 percent to 53.21 euros.

Adidas jumped 5.3 percent to 63 euros, the highest level since the company’s initial public offering in 1995. The world’s second-biggest sporting-goods maker said net income climbed 38 percent to 289 million euros ($383 million) in the first three months of the year. That beat the 230.6 million-euro average estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The company forecast a 12 percent to 17 percent increase in full-year profit, compared with a previous prediction of 10 percent to 15 percent growth.

VW Slips

Volkswagen, the world’s second-largest carmaker, added 0.9 percent to 143.10 euros, its fifth day of gains.

Rheinmetall AG rose 1.8 percent to 42.43 euros. The maker of KS Kolbenschmidt engine pistons plans an initial public offering for its Kolbenschmidt Pierburg car-components division in June and has started talks with institutional investors, Boersen-Zeitung reported, citing unidentified people in the financial industry.

Metro AG, Germany’s largest retailer, added 2.6 percent to 24.38 euros.

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