German Stocks Are Little Changed; Beiersdorf Shares Climb

German stocks were little changed, as Beiersdorf AG and Henkel AG shares rose, offsetting a report that showed China’s exports and imports unexpectedly dropped.

Beiersdorf and Henkel advanced 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Wacker Chemie AG climbed 2.4 percent after UBS AG recommended buying the shares. K+S AG dropped 3.4 percent as UBS advised investors to sell the potash maker’s stock.

The DAX Index (DAX) lost less than 0.1 percent to 8,054.64 at 9:51 a.m. in Frankfurt. The gauge has fallen 5.6 percent since May 22, when the Federal Reserve signaled that it may pare stimulus if the U.S. economy strengthens in line with its forecasts. The broader HDAX Index also declined less than 0.1 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 20 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Asian stocks pared gains after a report from the General Administration of Customs in Beijing showed that China’s exports fell 3.1 percent in June from a year earlier. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey had called for a 3.7 percent increase. Imports dropped 0.7 percent last month, compared with the median projection of a 6 percent increase.

In the U.S., the Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its June meeting at 2 p.m. New York time today. Speaking after that meeting, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may reduce the pace of its $85 billion in monthly bond buying later in 2013, and may halt purchases around mid-2014 if the U.S. economy performs as the Fed forecasts.

Beiersdorf Upgraded

Beiersdorf jumped 2.8 percent to 70.45 euros, posting the best performance on the DAX. Morgan Stanley upgraded the maker of Nivea skin cream to overweight from equal weight.

“Visibility on growth increases our conviction that Beiersdorf is set to become one of the strongest earnings-growth stories in European staples,” Erik Sjogren, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note to clients today.

Henkel gained 2.6 percent to 74.29 euros.

Deutsche Bank AG advanced 1.7 percent to 33.03 euros. Credit Suisse Group AG raised Germany’s largest lender to outperform from neutral, meaning investors should buy the shares, saying it can cope with potentially stricter regulation on leverage.

Wacker Chemie added 2.4 percent to 64.47 euros after UBS raised the stock to buy from neutral. Germany’s economy ministry said that China won’t introduce import duties on polysilicon imported from the European Union. “This could increase Wacker’s market share in China and could support Wacker’s polysilicon prices short term,” according to UBS.

K+S Downgraded

K+S decreased 3.4 percent to 27.34 euros as UBS cut its rating on the stock to sell from neutral, with analysts led by Joe Dewhurst citing concerns about the company’s debt levels as it increases capital expenditure even as potash prices are unlikely to rise.

Gerresheimer AG declined 3.8 percent to 43.07 euros. The producer of pharmaceutical and health-care equipment posted second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 59.8 million euros ($76.6 million), compared with the average analyst estimate of 60.3 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

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

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