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German Stocks Drop, Posting Worst January in Four Years

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks declined, posting their biggest monthly drop since June and their worst January since 2010, as Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG fell.

Deutsche Bank dropped 2.8 percent, for the biggest decline in the benchmark DAX Index, after Barclays Plc lowered its rating on the shares. Commerzbank lost 2.4 percent. Fresenius SE slid 2.1 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the shares. EON SE rose 1.4 percent, the biggest gain on the DAX, after JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its rating.

The DAX lost 0.7 percent to 9,306.48 at the close in Frankfurt, sending its monthly decline to 2.6 percent. The broader HDAX Index also retreated 0.7 percent today.

“The stock market certainly wants a correction,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Capital Markets Ltd. in Dublin, said by e-mail. “If the emerging-market crisis picks up more fire, we could actually see a far bigger selloff than just a correction.”

Deutsche Bank retreated 2.8 percent to 35.89 euros. Barclays downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight, saying that Germany’s biggest lender is struggling more than competitors with its deleveraging plan.

Commerzbank fell 2.4 percent to 12.63 euros.

Lenders contributed the most to the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s decline after the European Banking Authority said the region’s largest banks will have to show their capital won’t dip below 5.5 percent of their assets in an economic crisis.

Fresenius dropped 2.1 percent to 115.65 euros. Credit Suisse lowered the health-care company to neutral from outperform, meaning that it no longer recommends buying the stock. The brokerage said high expectations for Fresenius have been priced in after the shares rallied to their highest price since at least 1998 yesterday.

EON advanced 1.4 percent to 13.47 euros. JPMorgan upgraded the stock to neutral from underweight, saying that carbon prices may increase and a nuclear-energy tax may be permanently reversed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Trista Kelley in London at tkelley2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net

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