German Stocks Advance; Siemens, Aixtron, Continental, Centrosolar Increase
German stocks rose for the first time in three days as Japan pledged to buy euro-area bonds, joining China in helping to alleviate the region’s debt crisis.
Siemens AG climbed 3 percent after saying it’s confident of reaching its full-year targets. Aixtron SE gained 6.6 percent as Commerzbank AG recommended buying the stock. Continental AG soared 4 percent after saying it beat 2010 sales and profit targets.
The benchmark DAX Index rose 1.2 percent to 6,941.57 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Frankfurt, trimming yesterday’s decline. The measure surged 16 percent last year as corporate profits rose, the Federal Reserve started a second round of asset purchases to boost the U.S.’s economic recovery and the European Union bailed out Greece and Ireland. The broader HDAX Index gained 1.4 percent today.
“We expect ‘Germany to retain Europe’s top spot’ in terms of GDP growth and investor attraction,” Wolfgang Fickus, equity analyst at WestLB AG, wrote in a report today.
Portugal, Spain and Italy are scheduled to sell debt this week, following a slump in euro-area government bonds last week.
The euro rose from near a three-month low against the yen after Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said “it’s appropriate” for his nation to buy bonds issued by Europe’s financial-aid funds later this month. Japan will use its foreign-exchange reserves to buy more than a fifth of the bonds that the European Financial Stability Facility will issue later in January, Noda said.
China has also voiced support for Europe, with Vice Premier Li Keqiang last week expressing confidence in Spain’s financial markets and pledging to buy more of that country’s debt.
Siemens rose for the first time in six days, adding 3 percent to 91.48 euros. Europe’s largest engineering company aims for profit from continuing operations to gain at least 25 percent to 35 percent, while organic sales should rise “moderately” in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Profit in its fiscal first quarter through Dec. 31 exceeded the 1.5 billion euros ($1.95 billion) a year earlier, Munich-based Siemens said. Siemens will report more detailed earnings on Jan. 25.
Aixtron jumped 6.6 percent to 32.43 euros, the highest price in more than nine years. Commerzbank lifted its rating on the maker of equipment used to produce light-emitting diode screens to “buy” from “hold.”
Continental increased 4 percent to 60.83 euros after posting full-year sales of more than 25.5 billion euros, beating a November forecast of more than 25 billion euros. Continental also reported earnings before interest, taxes and one-off gains or costs of about 9.5 percent of revenue.
Separately, JPMorgan Chase & Co. rated Europe’s second- biggest car-parts maker “overweight” in new coverage.
Centrosolar Group AG soared 10 percent to 5.27 euros, the largest increase in almost 10 months. The supplier of photovoltaic systems for roofs said it will become the exclusive manufacturer in Europe of crystalline solar modules for TSMC Ltd. of Taiwan. The five-year agreement “envisages a volume of initially” 100 MWp per year, with deliveries to start in the third quarter of this year, Centrosolar said.
Beiersdorf AG, the maker of Nivea skin creams and Tesa strips, lost 1.1 percent to 41.22 euros after reporting a steeper drop in 2010 profit than analysts estimated because of writedowns related to its Chinese unit and a plan to scale back its product lineup.
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