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German Market Turns Positive

The German market brushed off early weakness and is in positive territory in afternoon trading Monday, after Spanish debt concerns rattled markets in the Asia/Pacific. Banks were under pressure on reports that several of them could be downgraded in the coming weeks.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.49 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is advancing 0.74 percent.

Despite some early weakness, the DAX index is currently gaining 0.75 percent.

BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are gaining between 1.7 percent and 1.1 percent.

Adidas is gaining 1.5 percent.

HSBC raised Basf to "Overweight" from "Neutral." The stock is up 1 percent.

Henkel is gaining 0.6 percent. The company reported the best results in its history in fiscal 2011 and reconfirmed its fiscal 2012 growth forecast after noting that it had a 'good start' to the year.

Exane BNP reduced Telekom to "Neutral" from "Outperform." Deutsche Telekom is falling 0.9 percent.

Commerzbank is declining 2.4 percent and Deutsche Bank is falling 0.8 percent.

Fraport, operator of Frankfurt Airport, reported higher passenger traffic for March, reflecting improved operations. Meanwhile, cargo traffic declined in both periods affected by uncertainties in the global economy and the night flight curfew. The stock is down 1.5 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, the French CAC 40 is adding 0.92 percent and Switzerland's SMI is advancing 0.44 percent.

In economic news, Eurozone's trade balance moved to a surplus in February, but was lower than forecast by economists, data from Eurostat showed.

Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended mostly lower. Australia's All Ordinaries dropped 0.5 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.09 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.44 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 1.74 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a slightly higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 1.1 percent, the Nasdaq tumbled 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent.

In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is falling $0.20 to $102.63 per barrel while June gold is losing $10 to $1650.2 a troy ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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