Around the World's Markets: Frankfurt

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PROFIT TAKING and a weak Wall Street opening weighed on Germany's index, ending a two-day rally that took the benchmark index to new year highs. The DAX closed down 0.23 percent, or 12.72 points, to 5,612.90 points after hitting a new 1999 high of 5,649.89 on Monday.

The giant insurers Allianz and Munich Re led decliners amid a fall in European government bonds, which dropped to new lows after technical selling weighed on US Treasuries, with Allianz falling 1.21 per cent while Munich Re lost 2.56 per cent. Banking shares were also broadly lower.