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German Stocks Gain, Trimming Biggest Monthly Drop Since January

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Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks advanced, trimming the DAX Index’s biggest monthly decline since January, as reports showed U.S. consumer confidence and house prices increased more than forecast.

Bayer AG rose 2.4 percent as a study showed its Xarelto drug was as safe and effective as the standard therapy at preventing blood clots. Kloeckner & Co. SE added 1.4 percent as BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research upgraded the metals trader.

The benchmark DAX gained 12.81, or 0.2 percent, to 5,925.22 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Frankfurt. The gauge fell 3.6 percent this month as the Federal Reserve said the pace of recovery in the U.S. economy will probably be “more modest” than forecast. The broader HDAX Index increased 0.2 percent today.

The DAX erased earlier losses today as the U.S. Conference Board’s confidence index increased to 53.5 in August from a five-month low of 51 in July. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a reading of 50.7.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index showed that home prices in 20 American cities rose more than forecast in June from a year earlier, reflecting the influence of a government tax incentive.

“The confidence survey likely reflected positive equity market performance early in the month,” Joseph LaVorgna and Carl J. Riccadonna, U.S. economists at Deutsche Bank AG, wrote in a note. “We do not expect the various consumer attitude metrics to improve meaningfully until the labor market shows greater traction.”

Bayer Gains

Bayer rose 2.4 percent to 48.18 euros. Xarelto was as safe and effective as the standard therapy of Sanofi-Aventis SA’s Lovenox plus warfarin at blocking blood clots in the lungs and legs, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Stockholm.

“After a weak first half due to poor performances in the CropScience and Pharmaceuticals businesses, we expect the shares to now become leveraged towards news flow on key pipeline product Xarelto,” Jefferies Group Inc. wrote in a note.

Kloeckner gained 1.4 percent to 15.47 euros. BofA Merrill Lynch lifted its recommendation to “buy” from “underperform.”

Rheinmetall AG advanced 2.1 percent to 43.68 euros as the supplier of machine parts and weapons was raised to “buy” from “sell” at Bankhaus Metzler.

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker, slipped 0.9 percent to 4.40 euros. Natixis Securities lowered its price estimate on the shares to 7.10 euros from 7.50 euros.

Bijou Brigitte Modische Accessoires AG lost 1.7 percent to 100.1 euros. The company’s first-half net income fell to 24.5 million euros ($31.2 million) from 31.2 million euros as sales declined to 174.6 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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