German Stocks Fall as Draghi Warns on Risks to RecoveryJonathan Morgan
German stocks slid for a second day as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he sees risks to the region’s economic recovery and warned that monetary policy cannot compensate for lack of government action.
HeidelbergCement AG, the world’s third-largest cement maker, and ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, led losses on the DAX Index. Kuka AG, a maker of assembly-line robots, fell the most in more than five months after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded the shares. Fresenius Medical Care AG climbed to a five-month high as the biggest provider of kidney dialysis announced a buy-back program.
The DAX lost 0.7 percent to 7,817.39 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, after earlier rising as much as 0.7 percent. The equity benchmark has still advanced 2.7 percent this year amid speculation that central banks will maintain their stimulus measures. The broader HDAX Index decreased 0.9 percent today.
“The ECB is running out of bullets to deal with the European crisis,” Ion Marc Valahu, co-founder and fund manager at Clairinvest in Geneva, wrote in an e-mail. “Markets will have to enter a period of consolidation after one year of gains.”
ECB officials meeting in Frankfurt today kept the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, as forecast by 54 of 56 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. In a press conference following the decision, Draghi said a recovery in the second half is subject to “downside risks,” including weaker growth and consumption. He also said the central bank couldn’t compensate for a lack of government action.
HeidelbergCement slid 3.8 percent to 55.08 euros and ThyssenKrupp fell 3.3 percent to 14.50 euros. The stocks led losses among companies with earnings tied to economic growth.
Kuka sank 4.4 percent to 31.87 euros, the largest drop since Oct. 23. Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares to neutral from buy and Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation to equal weight, the equivalent of hold, from overweight.
Fresenius Medical gained 2.9 percent to 55.60 euros, the highest price since Oct. 30. The company said it will begin a six-month program to buy back shares worth as much as 385 million euros ($492 million).
Deutsche Telekom AG added 2 percent to 8.52 euros. T-Mobile USA, the U.S. wireless unit of Europe’s second-biggest telecommunications company, said subscriber numbers and customer loyalty improved in the first quarter as it cut prices and prepared to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
Fraport AG, the owner of Frankfurt airport, climbed 1.9 percent to 44.33 euros after HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded the shares to neutral from underweight. HSBC said it hopes Fraport will suffer from no more traffic-related downgrades and has been encouraged by the airport owner’s recent comments on growth, signaling a positive momentum.
Hamburger Hafen & Logistik AG, which handles containers in the port of Hamburg, added 1.8 percent to 17.26 euros. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded the company to overweight from neutral, citing its position to serve regional trade needs where economic growth will accelerate this year.
EON SE, Germany’s biggest utility, advanced 1.1 percent to 14.05 euros as a gauge of utilities posted the only gain among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.