German stocks closed little changed at a record as business confidence in Europe’s largest economy declined while U.S. orders for durable goods topped forecasts.
ElringKlinger AG, a German car-parts maker, tumbled the most in seven months after reporting third-quarter revenue that missed estimates. Wacker Chemie AG sank 4.4 percent after Macquarie Group Ltd. downgraded the shares. BASF SE, the world’s biggest chemical maker, added 1.3 percent after profit beat analysts’ projections.
The DAX Index increased less than 0.1 percent to an all-time high of 8,985.74 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, bringing this week’s rally to 1.4 percent. The benchmark gauge has increased 4.6 percent in October as U.S. lawmakers agreed to lift the federal debt ceiling and investors speculated that a worse-than-forecast payrolls report would delay a reduction in the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program. The broader HDAX Index also rose less than 0.1 percent today.
“Germany is the engine room of European growth and today’s business confidence data is very disappointing,” Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at Charles Stanley Group Plc in London, said in a telephone interview. “This may once again make investors begin to question the sluggishness of the euro-zone economy.”
The Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, fell to 107.4 this month from 107.7 in September. That compared with a median forecast of 108 in a Bloomberg News survey of 39 economists.
U.S. durable-goods orders rose by the most in three months in September. Bookings increased 3.7 percent after a revised 0.2 percent gain in August, the Commerce Department said. The median forecast of 67 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.3 percent advance.
ElringKlinger tumbled 9.8 percent to 31.32 euros, the largest drop since March 8. The company reported third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 35.1 million euros ($48.5 million), missing estimates of 39.4 million euros.
Wacker Chemie, Europe’s largest polysilicon maker, dropped 4.4 percent to 69.90 euros, the lowest since July. Macquarie downgraded the company to neutral from outperform after the shares exceeded its price estimate.
BASF rose 1.3 percent to 75.17 euros, a fourth day of gains. Third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items jumped 15 percent to 1.69 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 1.62 billion euros, according to a statement today.
The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 23 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.