German Stocks Are Little Changed as Russia Begins Drills

German stocks were little changed, after swinging between gains and losses, as investors focused on the conflict in eastern Ukraine after Russia resumed military drills along the border.

RWE AG, the second-largest utility in Germany, slipped 2 percent. Commerzbank AG declined 2.4 percent for the biggest loss on the DAX Index. Dialog Semiconductor Plc gained 2.1 percent after Apple Inc., its largest customer, reported quarterly profit that exceeded estimates and sold more iPhones than analysts had predicted.

The DAX added less than 0.1 percent to 9,548.68 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, after earlier gaining 1.1 percent and dropping as much as 1.4 percent. The equity gauge is 2 percent away from a record reached on Jan. 17 and is little changed for 2014. The broader HDAX Index added less than 0.1 percent today.

“U.S. earnings gave equities a good start to the day but the market is very shaky,” said Michael Kapler, an equities portfolio manager at Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse in Potsdam. “There is still a lot of uncertainty on the situation in the Ukraine. The DAX has a large industrial weighting and many companies have a strong exporting relationship with Russia so Germany inevitably gets punished more on these days.”

Russia began new military drills along the Ukrainian border today, Interfax reported, citing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Germany has the strongest trade ties with both Russia and Ukraine among western-European countries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Business Confidence

The DAX earlier rose as data showed the Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 111.2 this month from 110.7 in March. Economists predicted a decline to 110.4, according to the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. A gauge of expectations climbed to 107.3, rebounding from the lowest level since October.

In the U.S., orders for durable goods advanced 2.6 percent in March, a Commerce Department report showed. That exceeded the 2 percent increase projected by economists in a Bloomberg survey. Orders rose a revised 2.1 percent in February.

RWE slipped 2 percent to 27.04 euros, its lowest price in 11 weeks. Commerzbank dropped 2.4 percent to 13.02 euros.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, lost 1.3 percent to 91.46 euros, following a gauge of European carmakers lower.

Dialog rose 2.1 percent to 17.95 euros, extending this year’s gain to 15 percent. Apple said it sold 43.7 million iPhones in the three months ending March 29, topping analysts’ estimates of 37.7 million, while net income of $10.2 billion also exceeded projections. Kirchheim, Germany-based Dialog gets almost 80 percent of its sales from Apple, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Infineon Technologies AG added 1.6 percent to 8.46 euros.

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