German stocks declined, halting last week’s advance, after a selloff in banks and utilities offset optimism from Greek opinion polls showing support for pro-austerity parties.
Commerzbank AG, the second-largest German lender, dropped 3 percent. EON AG and RWE AG, the biggest German utilities, fell. Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, slid 0.8 percent. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG rose 0.6 percent.
The DAX Index dropped 0.3 percent to 6,323.19 at the close of trading in Frankfurt after earlier rising as much as 1.2 percent. The benchmark gauge increased 1.1 percent last week, amid speculation that China and the euro area will take measures to boost economic growth and as reports showed consumer confidence is recovering in Europe and the U.S. The broader HDAX Index fell 0.1 percent today.
Greek opinion polls showed voters warming to parties supporting the European Union’s bailout agreement, easing concern the country will exit the euro currency bloc.
“These polls show New Democracy having a substantially bigger lead or Syriza than in the May 6 election,” said Nils Rosendahl, a strategist at Nordea Bank AB in Stockholm. “The Greeks are still short of implementing any of the measures demanded by the troika to get the bailouts, so I still believe they’ll be leaving the euro fairly soon.”
The New Democracy party, which supports the plan negotiated with international lenders, placed first in all six polls published on May 26 as campaigning continued for next month’s election. It led by a margin of as much as 5.7 percentage points over Syriza, the main party opposed to implementing the terms of financial aid packages, according to a poll by Kapa Research SA for To Vima newspaper.
Commerzbank dropped 3 percent to 1.34 euros. The head of the bank’s private customers unit said planning for the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro is the responsible thing to do, Der Tagesspiegel reported, citing an interview.
Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, and Allianz, the biggest insurer, fell 0.8 percent to 29.17 euros, and 0.8 percent to 75.20 euros, respectively.
A European gauge of banks shares was fell 1 percent, led by Spanish and Italian lenders, for the second-worst performance on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Standard & Poor’s cut the credit ratings of Bankia SA, Banco Popular Espanol SA and Bankinter SA to junk on May 25, citing Spain’s weakening economy.
EON fell 1.8 percent to 15.27 euros, while RWE dropped 2.5 percent to 29.70 euros, after Welt am Sonntag reported that German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier will push forward with a switch from nuclear energy, saying the country can’t afford a holdup on the issue.
BMW, the largest maker of luxury cars, climbed 0.6 percent to 62.28 euros.
HeidelbergCement AG, the largest cementmaker, rose 1.4 percent to 36.04 euros.