German stocks were slightly higher in cautious trade on Wednesday after the country's coronavirus infection rate reportedly edged up, prompting the head of the country's infectious diseases institute to urge people to maintain rigorous social distancing despite a slight easing of restrictions on public life.
Meanwhile, Italian sovereign bonds retreated after Fitch Ratings downgraded Italy's credit ratings, citing the significant impact of coronavirus pandemic on the fiscal position of the economy. The ratings were lowered to 'BBB-', a notch above the junk status.
The benchmark DAX was up 0.2 percent at 10,820 after rallying 1.3 percent the previous day.
Automaker Daimler climbed 2.4 percent after saying it expects the full-year operating profit of its Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division to be above the prior-year level.
Rival Volkswagen rose nearly 2 percent. The company said it has taken numerous countermeasures to cut costs and remain profitable on a full-year basis.
Polymer company Covestro gained about 1 percent after meeting its EBITDA guidance for the first quarter of 2020.
Deutsche Bank advanced 1.7 percent. The lender swung to a loss in the first quarter amid a costly restructuring and the coronavirus crisis.