Most German Stocks Drop; Lanxess Falls, Continental Gains

Most German stocks fell after advancing yesterday, with Lanxess AG and ThyssenKrupp AG leading the declines.

Lanxess and ThyssenKrupp lost more than 1.5 percent each. K+S AG fell 1.1 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux cut its stock rating. Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE dropped 5.6 percent as investors are selling a 12.5 percent stake in the landlord. Continental AG gained 2.4 percent after rival Michelin & Cie. said demand for car tires rose last month.

The DAX Index slid 0.2 percent to 9,639.08 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, with 19 of its 30 stocks down. The benchmark gauge has risen 5.1 percent since April 15 amid increased mergers-and-acquisitions activity and the European Central Bank’s pledge to ease monetary policy next month if necessary. The HDAX Index also fell 0.2 percent today.

“The market seems to waiting for catalysts,” said Yves Marcais, an equity-sales trader at Global Equities in Paris. “There are elections in Europe and the Ukraine coming up and concerns about aversion to the European Union. Also, in two weeks the ECB decides. The market is waiting to invest.”

On May 22-25, voters in 28 nations will elect 751 lawmakers to a five-year term in the European Parliament. Europe is emerging from a debt crisis that has fed the popularity of anti-European Union politicians. The next European Central Bank rate decision is on June 5 in Frankfurt.

In Ukraine, a presidential election is set to take place on May 25, despite waves of violence and political instability. Chocolate billionaire Petro Poroshenko is set to win the vote, according to opinion polls.

Lower Volume

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 22 percent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Lanxess fell 2.1 percent to 51.10 euros for the biggest decline in the DAX. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered the long-term credit rating of the maker of synthetic rubber and agricultural chemicals to BBB- from BBB.

ThyssenKrupp, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, lost 1.7 percent to 21.79 euros. It’s slipped 2.7 percent from its two-year high last week.

K+S slid 1.1 percent to 26.20 euros after Kepler Cheuvreux downgraded its rating on the shares to hold from buy. Europe’s largest potash supplier has had a good run and is now missing catalysts to drive the shares higher, the brokerage said. The stock rallied 63 percent from its August low through yesterday and reached its highest price since July last week.

Deutsche Annington Immobilien, Germany’s largest publicly traded owner of homes, dropped 5.6 percent to 20.18 euros. Monterey Holdings I S.a.r.l. and CPI Capital Partners Europe GP LLC are selling a stake valued at 642 million euros ($880 million), according to a statement yesterday.

Continental added 2.4 percent to 164.10 euros. Demand for replacement tires for cars and trucks rose in Europe and North America last month, Michelin said on its website yesterday. A gauge of car-part companies and automakers was the second-biggest gainer among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Daimler AG rose 0.7 percent to 66.46 euros.

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