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German Stocks Drop After Posting Biggest Gain in 7 Weeks

German stocks retreated, following their biggest jump in seven weeks, after sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in March.

Infineon Technologies AG lost 1.1 percent, following a gauge of technology stocks lower. Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG fell 1.3 percent each. Aleo Solar AG slid 35 percent after saying 2013 revenue fell and its loss widened. Adidas AG rose 1.1 percent for the biggest gain in the DAX Index.

The DAX declined 0.6 percent to 9,544.19 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity gauge climbed 2 percent yesterday, taking its three-day gain to 4.7 percent. The broader HDAX Index also slid 0.6 percent today.

“Yesterday, in Europe, the market rose quite a bit,” Yves Marcais, an equity-sales trader at Global Equities in Paris, said in an interview. “We can imagine investors are taking that profit, selling a bit.”

German shares extended their decline after a Commerce Department report showed that new U.S. home sales dropped 14.5 percent to a 384,000 annualized pace, lower than any forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the weakest since July.

The home-sales release outweighed better-than-expected economic data from Europe. A German factory index based on a survey of purchasing managers rose to 54.2 in April from 53.7 in March, Markit Economics said. Economists had forecast a reading of 53.8. A separate services gauge jumped to 55 from 53, exceeding forecasts for a reading of 53.3.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed stocks was 30 percent below the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Technology, Cars

Gauges of technology stocks and carmakers posted the biggest losses in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index today. Infineon, Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker, dropped 1.1 percent to 8.32 euros. Automaker Daimler slid 1.3 percent to 67.85 euros, and Volkswagen fell 1.3 percent to 195.95 euros.

Aleo Solar declined 35 percent to 35 euro cents. The solar-panel maker said 2013 sales fell to 124.9 million euros ($172.9 million) from 279.9 million euros the previous year. Its loss for earnings before interest and taxes widened to 92 million euros from 77 million euros in 2012.

SMA Solar Technology AG slid 6.4 percent to 31.70 euros.

Aixtron SE, the maker of equipment for semiconductors, fell 2.7 percent to 11.38 euros after U.S. peer Cree Inc. posted third-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates. Cree said yesterday fourth-quarter profit will be between 38 cents a share and 44 cents, compared with a 44-cent projection.

Adidas, the world’s second-largest maker of sporting goods, added 1.1 percent to 76.55 euros.

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