German stocks were little changed, following a two-day gain, as political wrangling delayed the approval of a new U.S. federal budget before Monday’s deadline.
Deutsche Bank AG lost 0.6 percent as a gauge of banks posted the largest drop of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Deutsche Telekom AG advanced 2.2 percent as a gauge of telecom companies rose the most on the Stoxx 600.
The DAX Index slipped less than 0.1 percent to 8,664.1 at the close in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark has still climbed 6.9 percent so far this month, extending its rally this quarter to 8.9 percent, as the Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from reducing its $85 billion of monthly asset purchases. The broader HDAX Index increased less than 0.1 percent today.
“Investors are becoming again concerned regarding a potential fiscal cliff in the U.S.,” Roger Peeters, chief executive officer at Close Brothers Seydler Research in Frankfurt, wrote in an e-mail. “Government and opposition have only a few days left to find a solution and the negotiations seem to be hard from both sides.”
U.S. lawmakers have until Monday to agree on an emergency budget to keep the federal government operating from Oct. 1, the beginning of the 2014 fiscal year. Failure to pass a bill may lead to a government shutdown.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz gave a 21-hour speech yesterday protesting against President Barack Obama’s reforms that increase the number of people with access to health care. Republicans, particularly in the House, have made undermining Obamacare a condition for approving a new budget.
Democrats have said they will block major changes to the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers will probably also have to act to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling as total borrowing approaches the $16.7 trillion limit.
In the U.S., a Labor Department report showed that jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 305,000 in the week ended Sept. 21. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for an increase to 325,000.
A Commerce Department release showed that the world’s largest economy grew at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, slower than the 2.6 percent pace forecast by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Gross domestic product expanded 1.1 percent in the first quarter.
The National Association of Realtors’ index of pending house sales fell 1.6 percent in August, more than the 1 percent decline that economists had forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Sales retreated a revised 1.4 percent in July.
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, slipped 0.6 percent to 34.36 euros.
Deutsche Telekom added 2.3 percent to 10.81 euros as Europe’s second-biggest telephone company rose to the highest price since July 2011.