German Stocks Fall From Five-Year High; RWE, Lanxess Drop

German stocks fell from last week’s five-year high as utilities and chemical shares declined.

RWE AG and Lanxess AG dropped at least 1.2 percent each. Volkswagen AG advanced percent after the stock was upgraded at Kepler Capital Markets.

The DAX fell 0.3 percent to 7,833.0 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The benchmark added 2 percent last week and has risen 2.9 percent this year as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a budget and American companies reported better-than-expected earnings. The broader HDAX Index fell 0.2 percent today.

“Despite the strong markets, most participants still carry a certain amount of skepticism with them,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The improving market breadth and the ever more obvious rotation out of money markets and bonds into equities speak for a continuation of the upward move soon.”

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the equity benchmark was 24 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose 17 percent to 895 billion yuan ($144 billion) in December from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday in Beijing.

Orders for durable goods in the U.S. rose 4.6 percent in December after a 0.8 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Excluding demand for transportation equipment, which is volatile month to month, orders rose 1.3 percent.

The median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2 percent gain in overall orders. Estimates ranged from a decrease of 1.4 percent to a 4.5 percent advance.

U.S. Housing

Separate data showed pending U.S. home sales declined in December for the first time since August. The index of contracts for the purchase of previously owned homes fell 4.3 percent to 101.7 after a revised 1.6 percent increase, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey projected no change in the gauge.

RWE AG fell 1.2 percent to 28.10 euros. Germany’s second-biggest utility plans to cut investments by as much as 50 percent to offset losses from the phasing out of nuclear power in the country, Chief Executive Officer Peter Terium told reporters yesterday at a company event in Davos, Switzerland.

EON SE, the country’s largest utility, declined 1.9 percent to 13.07 euros, for the biggest drop on the DAX.

Lanxess AG led chemical makers lower, falling 1.5 percent to 63.55 euros.

Volkswagen Gains

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, rose for a sixth day, gaining 0.5 percent to 185.55 euros, its highest price in more than 20 years. Kepler raised its recommendation on the shares to buy from hold.

Separately, Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 23 percent increase in global auto sales to 9.75 million units in 2012.

Porsche SE added 1.4 percent to 66.60 euros, its highest price since September 2008. Rheinmetall AG, the maker of KS Kolbenschmidt engine pistons, gained 1.2 percent to 40.59 euros.

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest bank, rose 0.9 percent to 37 euros. A gauge of bank stocks was the best performer on the Stoxx 600 Europe Index.

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