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Frankfurt Stock Exchange: On Wednesday, the Dax continues its record hunt

Photo: Marius Becker / picture alliance / dpa

On Wednesday, the Dax followed up its record high from the previous day with further highs. In the afternoon, the German benchmark index climbed by 1 percent to 16,730 points. In the current year-end rally since the October low, the price barometer has gained 13.6 percent.

The MDax of medium-sized companies recorded a plus of 0.29 percent to 26,568 points on Wednesday. The index is clearly lagging behind the Dax this year. Its record high from 2021 is a long way off. The Eurozone index EuroStoxx 50 gained 0.6 percent in the middle of the week at its highest level since the beginning of August.

Merck shares slump

The picture in the Dax is somewhat clouded by a slump in the price of Merck's shares. A bitter setback in drug development is putting the Dax company under massive pressure on the stock market. The shares fell by a good 14 percent to 139 euros on Wednesday – the biggest price drop in more than 14 years. Merck had announced the previous evening that its multiple sclerosis drug evobrutinib had not met the primary objective of the study in two crucial Phase 3 clinical trials. This is particularly bitter for the pharmaceutical and technology group, as it had believed that evobrutinib could achieve peak sales in the billions. The drug was one of the biggest hopes in Merck's pharmaceutical pipeline.

In the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, Fresenius disappointed investors in addition to Merck. The medical group is not allowed to pay a dividend for the current year due to state energy subsidies. The share price recently fell by 0.7 percent.

Significant gains at VW and Tui

Shares of carmaker Volkswagen gained 3.9 percent. Slightly positive news came on the subject of Xinjiang: According to their own statements, the inspectors commissioned by the Wolfsburg-based company have found no evidence of forced labor at the controversial plant in the Chinese province.

A positive business outlook sent Tui's shares soaring by more than 12 percent. The travel group is also considering leaving the London Stock Exchange and returning to the MDax. From the point of view of the Executive Board, a stock exchange listing only in Germany could bring advantages to Tui. These included lower costs and a better equity profile.

Interest rate fantasies after data drive Wall Street

Interest rate cut fantasies following new data on the U.S. labor market have given Wall Street a tailwind. The Dow Jones index of standard stocks was 0.2 percent higher at 36,184 points at the opening on Wednesday. The broader S&P 500 advanced by 0.4 percent to 4586 points. The index of the technology exchange Nasdaq climbed by 0.7 percent to 14,326 points.

U.S. companies created fewer jobs in November than experts expected, according to a survey by the personnel service provider ADP. The bottom line is that 103,000 jobs were created. Experts polled by Reuters had expected a 130,000 increase in U.S. private sector jobs.

The labour market has recently shown signs of cooling off in view of the US Federal Reserve's tight monetary policy stance. The Fed had fought high inflation with a series of interest rate hikes and thus also tried to cool the hot labor market. Most recently, she took a break twice in a row.

Tobacco producers in the red

Among the individual stocks, the share of the food group Campbell Soup was in demand with a plus of a good 5 percent after strong quarterly figures. On the other hand, the shares of tobacco producers Altria and Philip Morris flew out of the portfolios, losing up to 3 percent. British rival British American Tobacco had said it had to accept a loss of $31.5 billion due to the write-down of the value of some US cigarette brands.

Oil prices under pressure

Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday. A barrel (159 liters) of North Sea Brent recently cost 77.15 US dollars. That was five cents less than the day before. The price of a barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 13 cents to $72.19.

Oil prices are currently hovering near their lowest levels since July. For a few days now, price pressure has been exerted by scepticism about the latest production decisions of the OPEC+ crude oil alliance. Last week, the twenty or so oil states had cut their production by almost one million barrels per day. However, because the cuts were described as voluntary, the market is doubting their implementation.

Added to this is the expectation that oil supply from non-OPEC countries such as the US will increase. In line with this, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported rising US inventories on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. government publishes its weekly figures, which are closely watched by the markets.

With news agencies