German Stocks Advance for Seventh Day; DAX Index Records Monthly Increase

German stocks gained for a seventh day as the benchmark DAX Index (DAX) posted its biggest monthly increase in more than a year.

Praktiker AG, Germany’s third-biggest home-improvement retailer, climbed 5.7 percent as its quarterly loss narrowed. Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s second-largest maker of luxury cars, slid 1.7 percent after saying it sees higher raw material costs.

The DAX gained 0.5 percent to 7,514.46 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Frankfurt, extending this week’s increase to 3 percent. The gauge has climbed 6.7 percent in April, the biggest monthly jump since March 2010. The broader HDAX Index (HDAX) also rose 0.5 percent today.

The DAX has soared 15 percent from this year’s low on March 16 as corporate profits spurred speculation the global economic recovery is on track.

“The market is on an upward path and is very resistant,” said Arnaud Scarpaci, a fund manager at Agilis Gestion SA in Paris, which oversees about $110 million.

Praktiker surged 5.7 percent to 7.98 euros as its first- quarter net loss narrowed to 15.5 million euros ($23 million) from 37.5 million euros in the year-ago period.

Aurubis AG (NDA) gained 2.1 percent to 39.90 euros. Europe’s biggest copper smelter is looking at other possible acquisitions after agreeing to buy Luvata Group’s rolled products division, Bernd Drouven, the company’s chief executive officer said. The CEO declined to say when the copper refiner will make its next purchase and didn’t identify potential targets.

Daimler Declines

Daimler lost 1.7 percent to 52.19 euros as the carmaker said it sees 2011 raw material costs of about 700 million euros. The company reported a 71 percent gain in first-quarter operating profit as growing wealth in China boosted deliveries of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan.

Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 2.03 billion euros from 1.19 billion euros a year earlier, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said. Profit matched the 2 billion-euro average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

MorphoSys AG (MOR) jumped 5.2 percent to 19.85 euros. The biotechnology company said first-quarter net income rose to 18.8 million euros from 3.2 million euros in the year-ago quarter.

SMA Solar Technology AG (S92) climbed 4.9 percent to 80.49 euros, the first gain this week. Samsung C&T Corp. and SMA have partnered to build industrial-size solar inverters that convert power from solar panels to be fed into the electricity grid at facilities in Toronto, Samsung C&T said today.

Separately, Total SA agreed to buy as much as 60 percent of SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. solar panel maker, for $1.38 billion, taking advantage of increased global interest in renewable energy.

Kloeckner & Co. SE advanced 5.5 percent to 24.28 euros, the largest advance in three months. The steel distributor completed the acquisition of Macseel Service Centers USA Inc. for a maximum cash amount of $660 million to expand into the steel service center segment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adria Cimino in Paris at acimino1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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