German Stocks Rise as Commerzbank Gains on Capital Target

German stocks climbed, reversing an earlier decline, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said she aims to keep Greece in the euro area.

Commerzbank AG (CBK) gained 1.6 percent after the lender said it has exceeded the capital target set by Europe’s top banking regulator. EON AG, Germany’s largest utility, retreated after publishing quarterly earnings. Kloeckner & Co SE (KCO) slumped to the lowest since November after posting a wider-than-estimated loss.

The benchmark DAX Index (DAX) added 0.5 percent to 6,475.31 at the close in Frankfurt, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.1 percent. The gauge has rallied 9.8 percent this year. The broader HDAX Index gained 0.4 percent today. Yields on Germany’s 10-year bunds dropped below 1.5 percent for the first time.

The DAX erased its decline in the final hour of trading as Passauer Neue Presse reported that Merkel wants to keep Greece in the euro.

“I have always said that overcoming the crisis is a long and strenuous process and I have always wanted to solve it in such a way that Greece stays a member of the euro zone,” the German newspaper quoted Merkel as saying in an interview. “Nothing has changed in that respect.”

Following Greece’s election at the weekend, Antonis Samaras, the leader of the country’s biggest political party, failed to reach an agreement on a new government and the mandate passed to Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, which came second.

Tsipras, who opposes the austerity measures required for further financial aid, demanded that Samaras and the leader of the third-placed Pasok party renounce their support for the EU-led bailout of Greece.

German Exports Increase

German exports, adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, rose 0.9 percent in March from February, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.5 percent, according to the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports climbed 1.2 percent.

Commerzbank rose 1.6 percent to 1.55 euros as Germany’s second-biggest lender exceeded the European Banking Authority’s target of raising 5.3 billion euros ($6.9 billion) by 1.1 billion euros at the end of March. The bank beat the EBA’s June 30 deadline to increase capital by reducing risk-weighted assets, retaining profits and selling assets. The sum was the biggest assigned to six German lenders. Commerzbank also reported lower-than-estimated first-quarter profit.

Bayer AG (BAYN) advanced 2.4 percent to 52.56 euros for the biggest gain in the DAX. The chemicals company plans to sell a business that makes devices to measure diabetes, the Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the potential sale.

Lanxess, Symrise Gain

Lanxess AG (LXS) surged 6.4 percent to 61.83 euros. The maker of synthetic rubber for Pirelli & C SpA tires said earnings may grow 10 percent this year, outstripping analysts’ predictions as demand surges in emerging markets and the U.S. recovers.

Symrise AG (SY1) jumped 7.2 percent to 22.67 euros. The flavor and fragrance maker increased its targets for full-year sales after posting first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

EON declined 1.4 percent to 15.42 euros. The utility said first-quarter profit rose 27 percent from a year earlier after it renegotiated natural-gas contracts and increased sales in Russia. The company predicted on May 2 that earnings would increase about 31 percent. EON also said that it bought and sold fewer power, gas and emission permits last quarter.

Kloeckner plunged 8.2 percent to 8.33 euros. Europe’s largest independent steel trader posted a first-quarter loss that was about 11 times wider than the average analyst estimate.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will improve for the full year only “if the economic environment in Europe improves in the second half year,” it said.

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), the nation’s largest bank, dropped 1.1 percent to 30.42 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Xydias in London at axydias@bloomberg.net

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

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