Stocks Rise a Bit as Bundesbank Stands Pat - TheStreet

Stocks Rise a Bit as Bundesbank Stands Pat

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FRANKFURT -- Stocks opened higher after yesterday's mild profit-taking but slipped off their highs as the

Bundesbank

failed to cut interest rates.

Despite the widespread acknowledgment that the German central bank wouldn't cut rates today, the news hurt stocks and moved currencies as well, indicating that some traders had taken long positions just in case. The dollar rose near 1.66 marks before slipping back to 1.6468.

In Frankfurt, the

Xetra Dax

was down 10 points at 4524, while in London the

FTSE

was up 24 at 5231 and in Paris the

CAC

was up 4 at 3445.

S&P 500

futures were up 1.20 at 1074, while U.S. long bond prices were little changed, with the yield at 5.06%.

Gary Dugan, European equities strategist at

J.P. Morgan

in London, said his bearish stance had not been swayed by the recent rally. He said the economic picture across Europe is turning more negative with each passing week, and he expects this to hit company profits.

"There are still a lot of black holes lurking out there in coming months," he said. He believes most of the recent gains came on buying by traders looking for short-term profits, and that a lot of longer institutional buyers have been more cautious.

Among the biggest losers today were

Deutsche Telekom

(

(DT) - Get Report

DT ADR), down 5.7% on a magazine report that it will suffer a steep decline in profits next year. And

Daimler-Benz

(

(dai)

DAI ADR) was down 2%. Daimler chief said in a magazine interview that a recession might soon hit the auto industry.

Among the biggest gainers today was German telecom

Mannesmann

, which rose 7.6% on a news report that its head expects a sharp increase in 1998 sales. European software makers enjoyed spillover from strong tech gains yesterday on Wall Street, with

SAP

(

(SAP) - Get Report

SAP ADR) up 5.8% and French software maker

Cap Gemini

up 3.4%.

Demand for most banks stocks continued firm enough to keep many in positive territory today, partly on hopes that the Bundesbank and other core Euroland banks will cut rates in coming weeks.

Dresdner Bank

was up 2%,

Paribas

up 1.6% and

Lloyds

up 1.4%.