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German Stocks Are Little Changed as Evotec Gains

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks were little changed, as the benchmark DAX Index closed near a three-month high, as data showed that euro-area industrial production dropped more than forecast in July.

Software AG rallied 5.7 percent and SAP AG advanced 1.4 percent, following European technology companies higher. Evotec AG gained 6.6 percent as it entered a partnership with Harvard Stem Cell Institute in research to find potential treatments for motor neuron diseases. Siemens AG dropped after Josef Ackermann resigned from its supervisory board.

The DAX Index lost less than 0.1 percent to 8,494 at the close in Frankfurt. The gauge climbed 2.1 percent last week as manufacturing growth in the U.S. and China beat projections. The broader HDAX Index also fell less than 0.1 percent today.

“The market seems to be looking to the near future, like the Fed meeting, and shrugs off the euro-area industrial production numbers,” said Christian Zogg, who manages about $540 million as head of equity and fixed income at LLB Asset Management AG in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. “We had some positive economic reports out of China and Europe recently, to which the markets have responded very positively. I assume markets need some time to take a breather.”

Euro-area’s industrial production fell 1.5 percent in July from the previous month, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s more than the 0.3 percent contraction forecast by economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

In the U.S., a report showed that jobless claims in the declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006 as upgrades to computer systems in two states caused those employment agencies to report fewer applications.

Fed Policy

U.S. central bankers are debating how and when to pare their $85 billion in monthly bond purchases as the U.S. economy improves and unemployment declines. The Federal Open Market Committee will meet Sept. 17-18 to consider the future for the third round of quantitative easing known as QE3.

Software gained 5.7 percent to 25.22 euros. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its price recommendation for the stock by 15 percent to 31 euros, saying upside to the stock includes improved execution and a macro turnaround.

SAP added 1.4 percent to 55.15 euros, as a gauge of European technology shares posted the best performance among industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 index, the region-wide benchmark.

Evotec advanced 6.6 percent to 3.30 euros, its highest price since Feb. 09, 2011. The drug-research company said it has formed an alliance with Harvard Stem Cell Institute to identify compounds that prevent or slow down the loss of motor neurons.

Siemens Declines

Siemens lost 0.9 percent to 87.30 euros. Ackermann, who stepped down as chairman of Zurich Insurance Group AG after the suicide of its chief financial officer last month, said he will resign as deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Siemens.

Steelmakers fell after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its outlook for the European market for the alloy to bearish from neutral, saying a recovery in demand similar to that in 2010 is unlikely. Salzgitter AG retreated 2 percent to 31.96 euros. ThyssenKrupp AG fell as much as 1.2 percent, later erasing its losses and closing 0.3 percent higher.

Kloeckner & Co. slid 2.8 percent to 10.59 euros. Baader Bank AG cut the steel trader part-owned by the Knauf family to hold from buy, saying the stock price has risen so much that analysts’ 2014 earnings estimates would have to more than double to justify the valuations. Baader Bank also said the company has given a cautious guidance. Kloeckner has rallied 30 percent so far this quarter.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the DAX was 19 percent higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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