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German Stocks Gain for Third Day on Putin Speech

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks advanced for a third day, the longest streak in a month, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he won’t seek territory beyond Crimea, setting at rest investor concern about a wider conflict.

Qiagen NV rose 2.5 percent after Berenberg Bank advised investors to buy the stock. Draegerwerk AG declined 2.8 percent after Equinet Bank AG downgraded the shares.

The DAX Index added 0.7 percent to 9,242.55 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, erasing an earlier drop of as much as 0.8 percent. The benchmark gauge jumped 94 points in the eight minutes through 12:45 p.m. as Putin spoke to lawmakers in Moscow. The DAX has fallen 4.6 percent this month. The HDAX Index rose 0.7 percent today.

“This is a political de-escalation of the Ukraine situation,” Robert Halver, head of capital-markets research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “There have been no strong words against the Western governments and this is positive news. Right now, it appears there is a chance to solve the problem.”

Putin asked parliament to approve the accession of Crimea and said that Russia won’t occupy eastern Ukraine. Crimean residents on Sunday had voted in favor of leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.

“Don’t believe those who scare you with Russia, who yell that Crimea will be followed by other regions,” Putin said. “We don’t want to split up Ukraine, we don’t need that.”

Investor Sentiment

A report today showed German investor confidence slumped to a seven-month low. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, slid to 46.6 this month from 55.7 in February. Economists forecast a decline to 52, according to the median of 41 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Qiagen rose 2.5 percent to 15.49 euros. Berenberg upgraded the maker of medical-diagnostic equipment to buy from hold, citing an expected strong growth from key components of the business, including personalized medicine and bioinformatics.

Continental AG, Europe’s second-largest auto-parts maker, advanced 0.9 percent to 171.05 euros after Michelin & Cie. said late yesterday that demand for tires in North America is recovering.

Duerr AG rose 0.6 percent to 57.11 euros after the automotive-machinery maker said 2013 net income increased to 140.1 million euros ($195 million) from 107.2 million euros a year earlier.

Draegerwerk retreated 2.8 percent to 90.32 euros. Equinet downgraded the shares to reduce from hold, the medical-and aerospace-equipment maker’s operating performance may disappoint investors in the short term.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net Srinivasan Sivabalan

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