Tech Sector Tumble Hits European Shares

Technology stocks fell to push European shares lower and send Germany's benchmark DAX index to a 2013 low on Tuesday after weak results from software company SAP.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.1 percent at 1,159.14 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.5 percent to 2,700.52 points.

SAP fell 4.1 percent after posting below forecast revenues, contributing to a 0.8 percent DAX fall to 7,669.38 points. It had earlier hit a 2013 low of 7,635.88 points.

SAP's decline took the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300 index and hit the STOXX Europe 600 technology index, which fell 2.1 percent to make it the region's worst-performing equity sector.

"Especially after their main competitor Oracle managed to beat estimates last month, many had hoped that SAP would follow suit," said Markus Huber at ETX Capital.

Meanwhile, shares in Arm, the mobile chip firm, closed sharply lower, following a fall in Apple's stock in the U.S., after reports of low demand for its new iPhone 5.


In macroeconomic news, German gross domestic product (GDP) data was released showing weaker than expected gains. The Federal Statistics Office in Germany showed that growth for 2012 came in at 0.7 percent, missing forecasts of 0.8 percent and below last year's number of 3 percent.

Inflation figures were also released in Spain. The consumer price index (CPI), which excludes energy and food prices, grew 2.9 percent year-on-year, which was in line with forecasts. Italy's CPI figure came in at 2.3 percent year-on-year.

Also in Spain, the treasury sold 5.8 billion ($7.75 billion) of T-bills on Tuesday morning, which beat expectations as short term borrowing costs fell sharply.