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German Stocks Higher After Bond Sales

German stocks rose on Thursday after France and Spain both held successful bond auctions. While France sold a total of EUR7.973 billion of bonds at the top end of targeted range, Spain managed to sell EUR 2.54 billion in 2 and 10-year bonds, just above the original EUR 2.5 billion target at higher yields, reports suggest.

The bid-to-cover ratio rose to 2.42 from 2.17 in the prior auction, while the 10-year benchmark yield rose to 5.74 percent from previous 5.40 percent. The euro rebounded against the dollar immediately after the Spanish bond auction results.

The benchmark German DAX is currently at 6,783, up 51 points or 0.76 percent from its previous close, while France's CAC 40 is rising 0.75 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 is gaining 0.7 percent and Switzerland's SMI is up 0.7 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is moving up 0.69 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is up 0.67 percent.

In stock-specific action, RWE is gaining 0.6 percent after the utility said its DEA oil and gas exploration unit itself is not up for sale as a whole. Bayer is rallying 1.6 percent after the U.S. FDA cleared Bayer HealthCare's ContourĀ® Next EZ, a new blood glucose monitoring system for use in the United States.

Allianz is up 0.9 percent after the insurer called a Euro 2 billion subordinated bond. Deutsche Bank is up 0.4 percent, while Commerzbank is unchanged.

SGL Group is little changed as the carbon company said it successfully placed convertible notes worth 240 million euros with domestic and international institutional investors outside of the U.S.

Auto giant Volkswagen AG is down 0.6 percent after its Audi unit said it will buy Italian luxury motorbike maker Ducati Motor Holding SpA from its owner Investindustrial SpA for an undisclosed amount.

Meanwhile, with the debt crisis in Europe weighing on the markets and the risks growing, 2012 will certainly be a very demanding year, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn said today.

Elsewhere, Asian markets ended on a mixed note, as a weak lead from Wall Street following lackluster results from Intel and IBM and caution ahead of the Spanish government bond auction kept investors at bay.

Commodities rebounded and trading in the Dow futures point to a firm start on Wall Street ahead of U.S. data on jobless claims, existing home sales and the Conference Board's leading economic indicators.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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