SAP led the decline with a 13 per cent fall after reports that its US rival, Oracle, aims to overtake SAP as the world's largest maker of business management software within five years. Europe's leading maker of sports shoes, Adidas-Salomon, slumped 12 per cent on fears that growth will suffer as the US economy slows. Adidas generates 40 per cent of sales outside Europe.
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THE BENCHMARK DAX Xetra index fell 243.15 points, or 4.99 per cent, to 4,626.02 as every one of the 30 constituent shares fell.