Salzgitter AG, the second-largest German steelmaker, rose the most in almost three weeks as investors awaited details of the European Central Bank’s plan to ease the debt crisis.
Salzgitter, based in the city of the same name, climbed as much as 4.6 percent to 29.51 euros. It was up 4.3 percent at 12:55 p.m. local time for the best performance on the MDAX index. ThyssenKrupp, the largest German steelmaker, gained 1.9 percent. Salzgitter has fallen 10 percent in the past two weeks.
“Now there is a backlash caused by the hope that the European Central Bank will become active today,” said Ingo Schmidt, an analyst at Hamburger Sparkasse.
Salzgitter’s second-quarter pretax profit slumped 98 percent because of “unsatisfactory” selling prices and “persistently high” raw material costs, the company said last month.
The stock has also benefited from a recent drop in the price of iron and coking coal, and a stable euro, said Marc Gabriel, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe KG. “The pressure on margins thus slightly decreased,” he said.