Shares in BASF, the world's largest chemical maker by sales, advance 2.7 percent to the top of Germany's blue-chip index as UBS raises its recommendation on the stock to "buy" from "neutral", traders say.
Volume on the stock is already over a third of its full-day average for the past three months, showing the upgrade revived investor interest in the shares, which had fallen 2.5 percent from their opening level on Jan. 2. Volume on the Dax is 10 percent of its daily average.
"Following three years of flat earnings, we now expect robust earnings growth to resume at BASF, driven by cyclical recovery in Europe and Asia (and) lower-cost production in North American commodity chemicals," the bank says, also highlighting ongoing restructuring measures at the group.
UBS also adds BASF to its "UBS European Key Call" list.
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