German shares edged higher on Tuesday, outperforming mostly flat European stocks, as strong trade data from the region’s largest economy revived investor appetite for the Dax index.
Broader market sentiment, however, was still undermined by a crisis in Ukraine, where confrontation between Kiev and Moscow showed no sign of easing.
Frankfurt’s Dax blue-chip index, up 0.3 percent, bucked the trend after Germany reported seasonally adjusted exports and imports both rose more than forecast in January. The bounce was led by stocks exposed to the European economy, such as car maker VW and consumer-goods maker Henkel .
The Dax had fallen 2.9 percent in the previous two sessions, dragged down by worries about Ukraine and by disappointing Chinese trade data.
“The German trade figures were very solid and do point to a continuing recovery combined with an acceleration in growth in 2014,” said Markus Huber, a senior sales trader at Peregrine & Black. “Much will depend (on) how long the crisis in the Ukraine will drag on and if harmful sanctions and counter-sanctions will be put in place.”
Russia’s moves to take over Crimea have led to plans for a referendum on March 16 on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Those plans have provoked condemnation from western countries and the threat of international sanctions against Russia.
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