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Deutsche Bank rallies off record lows to close 2 percent higher

Embattled German lender Deutsche Bank saw some respite from recent selling on Wednesday after a slew of news helped the stock to push off record lows.

Shares were higher by nearly 3 percent by 10.00 a.m. London time. They pared some gains, but closed over 2 percent higher. This helped the DAX to post solid gains and close 0.8 percent higher, as well as aiding financial stocks and the pan-European benchmarks.

Wednesday morning begun with an interview in German newspaper Bild with Deutsche CEO John Cryan, who tried to reassure investors about the bank's capital strength with a headline saying that "state aid is not an issue."


Meanwhile, the company announced it had sold its British insurance business Abbey Life to Phoenix Group Holdings. Phoenix is paying 935 million pounds ($1.22 billion) for the unit, according to Reuters, and will likely bolster the view that the German bank is trying to reduce its non-core assets.

There was more news mid-morning, when a report by newspaper Die Zeit said that the country's government and financial authorities were preparing a rescue plan for Deutsche Bank.

The Ministry of Finance declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNBC, but a statement to the media later in the morning said that the report was false. Reuters also reported, citing sources, that the German financial regulator was not working on a rescue plan. A spokesperson at Deutsche Bank also referred the news agency to Cryan's earlier interview with Bild.

The constant news flow gave investors plenty to think about as shares held their gains as the session progressed. Deutsche Bank's stock has slid over 50 percent so far this year and the cost of insuring exposure to its debt has risen sharply. The latest concerns on the bank come after the U.S. Justice Department suggested the bank pay $14 billion to settle a number of investigations related to mortgage securities. The investigations refer to the way it sold these securities before the financial crash of 2008.

But, initial concerns over Deutsche Bank surfaced earlier in the year with investors detailing concerns over its exposure to the energy sector and a possible cash crunch.

Regardless of the news on Wednesday, some analysts and investors were considering whether Deutsche Bank's shares were undervalued after falling 18 percent since the start of September.

"Deutsche Bank. It's all about Deutsche Bank – at least that's how it feels. And… maybe it's time to be a cheeky buyer?," Bill Blain, senior fixed income broker at Mint Partners, said in a morning note.

"The wheezing German banking behemoth is hanging over markets as a threatening vector of uncertainty. Although there is no outright panic – it's set people a'thinking."

Yigit Bulut, an economic adviser to the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan even tweeted that the country's sovereign wealth fund, or a consortium of the state-owned lenders, should consider buying the German lender at a fair price.

Neil Wilson, a markets analyst at London-based spreadbetter ETX Capital highlighted the bank has been under pressure from aggressive short-selling, notably from some large hedge funds. This includes Soros Fund Management, the family office run by George Soros, which has built up a short position, according to a regulatory filing earlier this year.

"It's not a Lehmans moment in the offing. Banks are generally better capitalized and able to cope with adverse shocks. And Deutsche's derivatives exposure can be overstated," Wilson said in a note Wednesday.

"Deutsche's problem is not capitalization – it's just that its costs have soared (mainly through litigation and fines) and it's not that profitable any more."