German stocks retreated as the Spanish region of Catalonia sought a bailout, Japan lowered an assessment of its economy for the first time in 10 months and U.S. consumer confidence fell.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG declined after the airline’s main cabin-crew union planned to strike. Rhoen-Klinikum AG, the hospital operator, slumped 4.9 percent. Henkel AG rose 1.2 percent after Deutsche Bank AG recommended buying the shares.
The DAX Index dropped 0.6 percent to 7,002.68 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The measure has still surged 17 percent from this year’s low on June 5 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he would do everything possible to preserve the euro. The broader HDAX Index also dropped 0.6 percent today.
“The news out of Japan today could be seen as a lagging indicator of the state of the global economy,” said Serge Berger, a Zurich-based trader at Blue Oak Advisors LLC. “We’ve rallied hard off the June lows, so the higher we go the more some of the investors who have profits will want to take some.”
The volume of shares changing hands on the DAX was 37 percent less than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Catalonia said it will ask for 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) of aid from the central government, becoming the second Spanish region to tap a national rescue fund after the country’s most-indebted area was shut out of financial markets.
Japan’s government downgraded its assessment on personal consumption, housebuilding, exports, imports and industrial output in the world’s third-largest economy. It also lowered its outlook for the global economy.
The Cabinet Office said that risks include a “further slowing down of overseas economies and sharp fluctuations in the financial and capital markets,” according to a monthly report released in Tokyo today.
Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months as households grew more pessimistic about their employment prospects and the economic outlook. The Conference Board’s index decreased to 60.6 from a revised 65.4 in July, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. Economists had projected a reading of 66, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
German consumer confidence will hold steady in September as rising household incomes offset concerns that the economy will enter recession, GfK SE said today.
The market research company in Nuremberg forecast that its consumer-sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will remain at 5.9 next month. The last time the measure was higher was when it reached 6 in March last year. Economist predicted a decline to 5.8, according to the median of 25 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Lufthansa, Europe’s second-biggest airline, fell 0.8 percent to 9.84 euros. Cabin crew are planning unlimited strikes and may walk off the job as soon as tomorrow after the latest round of wage talks broke down overnight.
The Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation called a halt to the negotiations after Lufthansa failed to guarantee that employees would not be transferred to cheaper contracts at a low-cost airline, union head Nicoley Baublies said at a press conference at Frankfurt airport, the carrier’s main hub.
Rhoen-Klinikum slumped 4.9 percent to 19.15 euros, extending yesterday’s decline. B. Braun Holding GmbH, a closely held maker of medical supplies that has increased its stake in Rhoen-Klinikum to at least 5 percent, may want to block a takeover by Fresenius SE, Kepler Capital Markets said.
Henkel, the maker of Loctite glues and Persil detergent, gained 1.2 percent to 60.61 euros as Deutsche Bank raised the stock to buy from hold.
Douglas Holding AG rallied 5.5 percent to 35.60 euros, the biggest gain since January, after Financial Times Deutschland reported that Advent International Corp. may submit an offer for the cosmetics retailer by next week.