German Stocks Fluctuate; Infineon, BASF Gain as Salzgitter Falls

German stocks fluctuated as concern eased that higher oil prices will curb economic growth and China said its trade surplus will fall this year.

Infineon Technologies AG and BASF SE led rising shares. Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and Commerzbank AG (CBK), Germany’s biggest banks, both retreated. Salzgitter AG (SZG) shares declined after the company reported 2010 sales that fell short of analysts’ projections.

The DAX Index dropped 0.2 percent to 7,166.02 at 11:49 a.m. in Frankfurt, erasing an earlier drop of as much as 0.7 percent. The gauge has declined 2.2 percent since peaking at a 2 1/2-year high on Feb. 18. The broader HDAX Index lost 0.2 percent today.

Oil surged to the highest price in 29 months as Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Qaddafi used artillery and helicopter gunships to repel a rebel attack on the town of Sirte. In the west of the country, Qaddafi’s forces renewed their attacks on the rebel-held towns of Misurata and Zawiyah.

In China, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said that the country will stabilize its exports and expand its imports at a faster pace, reducing the size of its trade surplus.

Greece’s government bond rating was cut three steps by Moody’s Investors Service to B1 from Ba1. Moody’s also assigned a negative outlook to the rating. Irish 10-year government bonds today fell, sending the yield up as much as nine basis points to 9.477 percent, the highest level since before the euro was created in 1999.

Infineon, Europe’s second-largest chipmaker, climbed 1.6 percent to 7.81 euros, while BASF, the world’s biggest chemicals maker, advanced 0.9 percent to 61.14 euros.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, dropped 1 percent to 44.45 euros, while Commerzbank slipped 0.9 percent to 6.26 euros.

Salzgitter lost 2 percent to 56.70 euros, its lowest price in six weeks. Germany’s second-biggest steelmaker posted full- year revenue of 8.3 billion euros ($11.6 billion), missing the average analyst estimate for 8.4 billion euros of sales.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at jcruz6@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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