German Stocks Little Changed as U.S. Sales Offset Banks

German stocks were little changed at a record high as better-than-forecast U.S. retail sales offset declines in Commerzbank AG and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Commerzbank AG fell the most in two months after Handelsblatt reported the lender will sell new shares this week as part of a capital increase. Lufthansa dropped 2.1 percent. QSC AG jumped 5.4 percent after posting earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

The DAX Index added less than 0.1 percent to 8,279.29 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The gauge rose for a third straight week last week as companies reported results that beat analysts’ estimates. The broader HDAX Index lost less than 0.1 percent today.

“The recent move has been remarkable so it’s not surprising to see a little consolidation,” said Yves Marcais, an equity sales trader at Global Equities in Paris. “The bank sector is weighing on indexes.”

The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX was 28 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in April, reflecting broad-based gains that may ease concern consumers are holding back. The 0.1 percent increase followed a 0.5 percent drop in March, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.3 percent drop.

Euro-area finance ministers met in Brussels today to review programs for Cyprus and Spain and may sign off on aid payments to Greece.

Euro Recession

A report on May 15 may show that the euro region is suffering the longest recession since the single currency’s creation. Gross domestic product in the 17-nation economy fell 0.1 percent in the first three months of 2013, a sixth straight quarterly decline, according to the median of 39 economists’ forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Commerzbank slid 4.7 percent to 9.94 euros. Germany’s second-largest lender will sell new shares at a discount of about 35 percent as part of a 2.5 billion-euro ($3.3 billion) capital increase, Handelsblatt said, citing unidentified people in the finance industry. Karsten Swoboda, a spokesman for the Frankfurt-based bank, declined to comment on the report.

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest bank, retreated 0.3 percent to 36.10 euros, paring earlier losses of as much as 2.9 percent. A gauge of European banking stocks declined the most of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Lufthansa Drops

Lufthansa, Europe’s second-largest airline, retreated 2.1 percent to 15.75 euros.

A gauge of European travel companies was among the worst performers on the Stoxx 600 amid concern that a new viral outbreak could disrupt travel following increasing evidence of human-to-human spread after France reported its second confirmed coronavirus-related infection yesterday. The virus is related to the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a decade ago.

Porsche Automobil Holding SE dropped 1.2 percent to 60.28 euros after being sued by more hedge funds in Germany. The plaintiffs, including Viking Global Equities LP, Glenhill Capital LP and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital Inc., are seeking 1.4 billion euros, Bernhard Schabel, a spokesman for the Stuttgart Regional Court, said in an interview today. They are suing over the carmaker’s use of options in its failed 2008 bid to take over Volkswagen AG.

QSC climbed 5.4 percent to 2.68 euros. The provider of network and wireless systems to small and medium-sized companies reported first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 6.3 million euros ($8.2 million), surpassing analyst estimates.

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