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German Market Moderately Up

The German market is moderately higher in a choppy session on Thursday after Asian markets rose on encouraging remarks from the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. Sentiment was influenced by some broker commendations while banks gave up early gains after disappointing bond sale results came from Italy.

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book said Wednesday that the U.S. economic recovery proceeded at a modest pace in recent months, as manufacturers expressed optimism despite concerns about higher energy prices. Consumer spending was "encouraging" across a number of the Fed's twelve districts.

Meanwhile, the editorial to the European Central Bank's monthly bulletin showed that Eurozone inflation is expected to stay above 2 percent in 2012, with upside risks prevailing. Over the policy-relevant horizon, the ECB forecasts price developments to remain in line with price stability.

While a gradual economic recovery is expected in the course of the year, the outlook remains subject to downside risks, the bank said.

Citigroup lowered global financial equities to "Neutral" and cut global telecom equities to "Underweight." The brokerage raised global industrial equities to "Overweight."

The Italian 3-year bond yield increased, while it missed the maximum target set for the issue.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is falling 0.47 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is sliding 0.22 percent.

The DAX index is currently adding 0.45 percent.

Infineon Technologies is advancing 3.9 percent, followed by HeidelbergCement, which is up about 2 percent. Deutsche Bank raised Infineon to "Buy" from "Hold."

BMW is climbing 1.6 percent. Volkswagen is moderately higher. Daimler is up 0.2 percent.

Vossloh is up over 2 percent. HSBC raised the stock to "Overweight" from "Neutral."

Sky Deutschland is surging nearly 12 percent after UBS raised the stock to its 'Most Preferred List.'

Fresenius is up 0.75 percent while Fresenius Medical Care is marginally lower. Barclays initiated Fresenius with an "Overweight" rating and Fresenius Medical Care with an "Equalweight" rating.

Pharma and healthcare industry supplier Gerresheimer upped its fiscal 2012 revenue forecast, despite lower first-quarter profit. The stock is climbing nearly 6 percent.

Commerzbank is declining 4.3 percent and Deutsche Bank is losing 0.9 percent.

Metro is losing 3.2 percent. Berenberg cut the stock to "Sell" from "Hold."

Elsewhere in Europe, the French CAC 40 is losing 0.19 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 falling 0.08 percent. Switzerland's SMI is rising 0.27 percent.

In economic news, industrial production in the euro area unexpectedly increased in February, helped by a marked increase in energy production, data released by statistical office Eurostat revealed. Industrial production moved up 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in February, after remaining flat in the previous month. Economists were looking for a 0.2 percent decrease.

Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries gained 0.79 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.82 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.93 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.70 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the markets benefited from a positive reaction to aluminum giant Alcoa's quarterly results. The Dow climbed 0.7 percent, the Nasdaq rose 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 0.7 percent.

In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is adding $0.51 to $103.21 per barrel and June gold is sliding $2.6 to $1657.7 a troy ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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