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German stocks slid nearly 3% on Wednesday, knocked lower by a sharp rise in the euro against the dollar after weak U.S. growth data fueled speculations the Federal Reserve will delay its rate hike to the fall.

Germany’s DAX 30 , which has been a beneficiary of euro weakness this year, fell 2.8% to 11,488.12. At the same time, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.1% to 401.72. European and U.S. stocks were hit after the U.S. Commerce Department said the economy grew at a 0.2% annualized pace ( in the first quarter, missing expectations for 1% growth. The quarter was marked in part by a surge in the U.S. dollar that curbed American exports.

The report appears to be “the first of many somewhat subdued GDP figures and given what’s happened with dollar strength and the movement in oil prices, I think this is likely to be a slower period of growth for the U.S.,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

A recent run of soft economic data has underpinned the view that the Fed will hold off in raising interest rates in June. The Federal Reserve will release its monetary policy statement after the close of European trade Wednesday.

The euro ( rose against the dollar to $1.1067 following the report of meager U.S. growth. The euro has gained more than 5% against the greenback since it fell below $1.05 in mid-March. The euro’s losses this year have come in part because of “indecision” in the market about the outcome of Greece’s persistent debt crisis, said Mahony. “Finally after this prolonged downtrend, we’re starting to see some questions about what was a one-way bet for many people about the eurodollar.”

Data: A preliminary report on German consumer prices in April met expectations. The CPI declined 0.1% on a month-over-month basis, and was up 0.4% year-over-year. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Bund rose 11 basis points to 0.26% as prices fell.

Read: German bond prices are falling (

Elsewhere in Frankfurt, Volkswagen AG shares turned 2% lower. They had gained earlier after the German car maker said first-quarter profit rose roughly 19% to EUR2.9 billion (, bolstered in part by favorable currency movements.

Among Stoxx 600 movers, Delhaize Group SA shares fell 7% following the Belgian food retailer’s first-quarter results. Revenue rose 16% to 5.82 billion euros ($6.39 billion). Group underlying operating profit was EUR173 million, and both Jefferies and Rabobank said that figure came in below expectations.

In Paris, the CAC 40 fell 1.2% to 5,109.25. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 ( shed 0.6% to 6,989.42.

Greek debt crisis: In Athens, the Athex Composite turned lower by 0.3% to 803.74. Stocks had been higher earlier after the European Central Bank raised the cap on its emergency liquidity assistance for banks by EUR1.4 billion, to EUR76.9 billion, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

Greece is planning to submit a fresh list of reform ( proposals on Wednesday, according to news reports, potentially taking the country a step closer to ending the monthslong bailout standoff with international lenders.

Greek bond yields were higher as prices fell. The yield on 2-year debt was up 1.3 percentage points to 21.2%, and the yield on 10-year bonds was 11.11%, up 30 basis points.