German Stocks Increase for Longest Streak Since September

German stocks advanced for a sixth day, the longest streak since September, after a report showed consumer confidence in the euro area rose more than forecast.

Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest bank rose 2.5 percent after Morgan Stanley recommended buying the stock. Hugo Boss AG added 1.6 percent, the most in a month. Adidas AG lost 1.8 percent after Nike Inc. said quarterly sales will grow less than analysts had estimated.

The DAX Index advanced 0.5 percent to 9,342.94 at the close in Frankfurt. The benchmark gauge has risen 3.2 percent this week, the most in a month, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he won’t seek territory beyond Crimea. The broader HDAX Index climbed 0.4 percent today.

“The Crimea crisis has moved into the background,” Peter Buergler, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland, said in an interview. “Positive sentiment will lead to a positive end to the trading week, and cards will be reshuffled next week. However, the underlying sentiment remains positive among market participants.”

The market was more volatile today and trading volume was greater as futures and options contracts expired in a process known as witching. The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 86 percent higher than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Consumer Confidence

An index of household confidence in the euro area rose to minus 9.3 in March from minus 12.7 in February, the European Commission said in a preliminary report. That beat the median economist forecast of minus 12.3 in a Bloomberg News survey.

Commerzbank rose 2.5 percent to 13.33 euros. Morgan Stanley raised the lender to overweight, the equivalent of buy, from equal weight and increased its price estimate by 36 percent to 16 euros. Morgan Stanley said the bank has a lower risk of another capital increase.

Separately, the lender said it reached its 2013 capital target and forecast an increase in operating profit and net commission income.

Hugo Boss added 1.6 percent to 94.57 euros. HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded the luxury-clothing maker to overweight from neutral after the stock fell to a 10-month low. The brokerage said the company has less competition than most competitors.

Evotec AG advanced 2.9 percent to 3.83 euros. Commerzbank raised the drug-research company to add, the equivalent of buy, from hold. The brokerage forecast that service sales will increase this year because the company has signed more collaboration agreements. Evotec reports earnings on March 25.

Adidas AG, the world’s second-largest maker of sporting goods, slid 1.8 percent to 76.24 euros. Nike forecast sales in the quarter through May will gain at a high single-digit percentage rate. That’s less than the average analyst projection calling for a 12 percent gain.

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