German stocks were little changed from a record as investors awaited the outcome of a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting, and a report showed U.S. companies added fewer workers in October than forecast.
Linde AG retreated 2.9 percent, for the biggest drop on the benchmark index. Deutsche Telekom AG followed its European peers lower. Volkswagen AG advanced 5 percent after Europe’s largest automaker posted third-quarter operating profit that beat estimates. Vossloh AG climbed 5.8 percent as Germany’s biggest supplier of concrete railroad ties reported higher net sales.
The DAX Index fell 0.1 percent to 9,010.27 at the close of trading in Frankfurt after finishing at a record 9,022.04 yesterday. The gauge has rallied 4.8 percent in October as U.S. lawmakers agreed to end a fiscal impasse and investors speculated that a worse-than-forecast payrolls report would delay a reduction in the Fed’s stimulus program. The broader HDAX Index was little changed today.
“Traders are a bit nervous before the results of the FOMC meeting,” Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London, said by phone. “Tapering expectations have been pushed to next year, but the Fed may surprise, even though the ADP data suggest a status-quo in the Fed monetary policy for the time being.”
Companies in the U.S. boosted payrolls by 130,000 in October, figures from Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed today. The median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 150,000.
The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 23 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Federal Open Market Committee concludes a two-day meeting today. Policy makers will hold off paring the $85 billion of monthly bond purchases until their March 18-19 meeting, a Bloomberg survey showed. The central bank will announce its decision at 2 p.m. in Washington.
Linde declined 2.9 percent to 141.05 euros, bringing its two-day drop to 3.3 percent, the most in a year. The industrial-gases company yesterday cut its full-year profit outlook as the strengthening euro damped foreign earnings.
Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s second-biggest telephone company, slipped 2.2 percent to 11.53 euros. A gauge of telecommunications stocks posted the second-worst performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Volkswagen advanced 5 percent to 183.50 euros, its biggest gain since July 2012. Earnings before interest and taxes increased 20 percent to 2.78 billion euros ($3.82 billion). That beat the 2.72 billion-euro average estimate of 10 analysts.
A gauge of carmakers posted the best performance on the Stoxx 600, rising 1.1 percent. Porsche AG climbed 5.9 percent to 67.86 euros and Continental AG gained 2.2 percent to 134.05 euros. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the largest manufacturer of luxury vehicles, added 0.6 percent to 82.69 euros.
Vossloh jumped 5.8 percent to 76.85 euros as third-quarter net sales rose to 350 million euros from 320 million euros a year earlier. The company also confirmed its forecast for an earnings before interest and tax margin of 4 percent to 5 percent.