German stocks fell from a five-week high, with the benchmark DAX Index snapping a three-week rally, as Bayer AG among stocks leading declines.
Bayer dropped 2.5 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered its profit estimates for the drug and chemical company. Infineon Technologies AG slid 1.8 percent, tracking a selloff in technology stocks across Europe.
The DAX retreated 1.9 percent to 9,510.85 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, falling for the first time in five days. The measure lost 1.4 percent in March as Russia’s annexation of Crimea prompted concern that tit-for-tat sanctions would disrupt trade. The broader HDAX Index also fell 1.9 percent today.
“The bottom line is that this is a market where conviction is really low,” Witold Bahrke, who helps oversee $55 billion as a senior strategist at PFA Asset Management in Copenhagen, said in a phone interview. “The macro events over the past week or so haven’t put more conviction into investors minds. Therefore we will see more back and forth.”
A report showed that industrial production in Germany rose 0.4 percent in February after a revised 0.7 percent gain the previous month. The February increase compares with a 0.3 percent gain economists had forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
Bayer fell 2.5 percent to 96.52 euros. Goldman reduced 2014-2018 estimates for earnings per share at the company by 2 percent to 6.6 percent, citing higher spending and the impact of currency fluctuations.
Infineon Technologies, Europe’s second-biggest semiconductor maker, dropped 1.8 percent to 8.59 euros.
Continental, Europe’s second-biggest tiremaker, lost 2.8 percent to 173.10 euros.
Xing AG declined 2.9 percent to 102.75 euros after Jefferies Group Inc. resumed its research of the owner of Germany’s biggest business social network with a hold recommendation.
Osram Licht AG slumped 7.1 percent to 44.20 euros, for its biggest loss since being spun off from Siemens AG last year. Berenberg Bank AG downgraded the world’s second-biggest lighting company to hold from buy, citing its 71 percent rally since July 9, 2013, when Berenberg started covering the stock.