German Stocks Decline; DAX Pares Annual Advance to 25%

German stocks dropped in the last trading day of 2013, paring their annual advance to 25 percent, after the DAX Index reached an all-time high last week.

Deutsche Telekom AG lost 1.4 percent for the biggest decline in the DAX. Hannover Re dropped 0.7 percent after Welt am Sonntag reported the chief executive officer of the world’s third-largest reinsurer expects falling rates in the industry next year. Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG rose 1.6 percent.

The DAX fell 0.4 percent to 9,552.16 at 2:45 p.m. in Frankfurt after an early market close. The broader HDAX Index also dropped 0.4 percent today.

“As the last couple of sessions of 2013 get underway this week, investors look back on a very positive year for risk assets, one that was particularly good for stocks,” David White, trader at Spreadex Ltd. in St. Albans, England, said in and e-mail. “Turning back to this week, volumes are expected to be light into the New Year save for some unforeseen event.”

The DAX rallied this year as the European Central Bank pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged period and after the Federal Reserve’s decision to slow the pace of its bond-buying program increased investors’ confidence in the U.S. economic recovery. The DAX jumped 29 percent last year.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 17 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.K. and French markets will be among those open for trading tomorrow on the last day of the year. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is open tomorrow only for settlement.

Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom declined 1.4 percent to 12.43 euros, paring the 7.3 percent increase in the previous five trading days. Sprint Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, jumped as much as 15 percent on Dec. 27 amid speculation that it is closer to merging with rival T-Mobile US Inc. Deutsche Telekom, Germany’s biggest phone company, owns two thirds of T-Mobile.

Hannover Re fell 0.7 percent to 62.38 euros. Primary insurance companies in Germany demand less business than reinsurers are offering, leading to lower rates, Welt am Sonntag quoted Hannover Re CEO Ulrich Wallin as saying. Hannover Re won’t engage in price wars and prefers to forgo business if rates fall too much, according to the report.

ThyssenKrupp gained 1.6 percent to 17.69 euros, paring its loss this year to 0.4 percent. The stock is one of only six DAX companies to have posted a decline for 2013 as it failed to divest all of its unprofitable Americas business.

Auto-parts maker Continental AG rallied 82 percent this year for the biggest increase in the DAX. Deutsche Post AG jumped 60 percent, posting the second-largest gain in the benchmark gauge.

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