German Stocks Advance for a Second Day as Bayer Climbs

German stocks climbed for a second day, paring the DAX (DAX) Index’s first monthly decline since May, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that he will not withdraw measures to stem the euro area’s debt crisis.

Bayer AG (BAYN) gained 1.9 percent after the drugmaker forecast sales will increase 4 percent to 5 percent this year. RWE AG rose 1.9 percent after Morgan Stanley recommended buying the shares. Hochtief AG (HOT) plunged the most in 11 months after saying that new orders will probably decline in 2013.

The DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 7,709.12 at 10:17 a.m. in Frankfurt as more than two stocks climbed for every one that dropped. The equity benchmark has still retreated 0.9 percent in February as inconclusive elections in Italy prompted concern the country will abandon its austerity program. The broader HDAX Index added 0.5 percent today.

Draghi said at an event in Munich late yesterday that the ECB has no intention of withdrawing its measures to combat the debt crisis. The central bank has lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 percent, made long-term loans available to financial institutions and set up a bond-buying program called Outright Monetary Transactions.

Italy is headed for a broad coalition government as bondholders pressure Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi to set aside their rivalries and form a partnership, Finance Undersecretary Gianfranco Polillo said late yesterday.

A joint government between Bersani’s Democratic Party and the forces led by Berlusconi, the three-time former premier, is “the only possible way,” according to Polillo.

In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will show that the world’s largest economy expanded at a revised 0.5 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter, according to the median forecast of 85 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The Commerce Department had estimated that the economy contracted in the final three months of 2012. Another report may show initial jobless claims dropped last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sofia Horta e Costa in London at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net

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

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