The Xetra Dax closed down 57.88 at 5,010.7 after briefly dipping below 5,000. Of the Dax's 30 blue-chip stocks, 20 traded lower.
Deutsche Telecom, the most traded stock, closed down 1.77 per cent.
Metro, the retail giant, was another faller shedding 3 per cent.
Deutsche Bank gained 1.2 per cent but declined to comment on talk it may have sold a large stake in Italy's BCI.