FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - After a strong start to the week on the German stock market, share prices fell again on Tuesday. The recovery of the leading index was initially brought to an end not least by significant losses in Airbus shares. The aircraft manufacturer has cut its profit and delivery targets for this year.

In early trading, the Dax fell by one percent to 18,138 points. The MDax of mid-cap blue chips lost 0.7 percent to 25,528 points. The Eurozone's leading index, the EuroStoxx 50, was also down 0.6 percent.

Airbus lowered its annual targets due to a write-down in its aerospace division and ongoing problems in its supply chains. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for the current year are now only expected to be around 5.5 billion euros instead of the previously expected 6.5 to 7.0 billion euros. In addition, Airbus is only expected to deliver around 770 aircraft in 2024 instead of the previously targeted 800.

This caused the share price of the DAX heavyweight Airbus to plummet by almost 9 percent. One trader spoke of a "harsh profit warning". Banks such as JPMorgan and RBC have already lowered their price targets for the shares and Deutsche Bank has abandoned its previous buy recommendation. The shares of engine manufacturer MTU lost a good 4 percent in the wake of the Airbus shares.

There was also bad news from Merck KGaA. The pharmaceutical and chemical group is discontinuing two studies that were already at an advanced stage for the promising drug Xevinapant. Analysts had previously expected the cancer drug to become a blockbuster with sales in the billions. Merck shares slumped by 10 percent. Peter Verdult from Citigroup spoke of a "bitter pill".

Investors welcomed cost-cutting plans at plastics manufacturer Covestro. The company wants to save 400 million euros a year by the end of 2028, almost half of which will be in Germany. The share price, which had been driven to a high since February 2022 the previous day by takeover speculation, rose by 1.5 percent.

Among the second-line stocks, shares in Hornbach Holding gained 4.2 percent. Thanks to warmer weather in March and April, the DIY group increased sales at the start of its new financial year./bek/tih