German Stocks Gain as U.S. House-Sale Data Tops Forecasts

German stocks advanced, rebounding from the lowest level in almost three months, as a report showed sales of new U.S. homes exceeded economists’ forecasts in March.

Infineon Technologies AG (IFX) climbed 2.2 percent after peer Texas Instruments Inc. forecast second-quarter earnings that may top some analysts’ estimates. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) increased 2.3 percent as Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded the shares. Volkswagen AG (VOW) led automakers higher.

The benchmark DAX (DAX) Index added 1 percent to 6,590.41 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The gauge tumbled 3.4 percent yesterday to its lowest level since Jan. 31 as manufacturing contracted in the euro area and China, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered his Cabinet’s resignation after struggling to reach an austerity deal. The broader HDAX Index also increased 1 percent today.

“While yesterday’s move to the downside might have been overdone and a moderate rebound wouldn’t be too much of a surprise, plenty of uncertainty remains, making it difficult for stocks to bottom out,” Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London, wrote in an e-mail.

In the U.S, purchases of new homes dropped in March to a 328,000 annual rate, a decline of 7.1 percent from a revised 353,000 pace in February that was stronger than initially projected, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists forecast a rate of 319,000 last month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

U.S. Confidence

Confidence among U.S. consumers was little changed in April as expectations over the outlook tempered increased optimism about the present. The Conference Board’s confidence index was at 69.2 compared with a revised 69.5 in the prior month, figures from the New York-based research group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a reading of 69.6.

The Netherlands sold 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of bonds maturing in July 2014 and January 2037 today. The government had aimed to issue as much as 2.5 billion euros of the securities.

Infineon, Europe’s second-largest semi-conductor maker, rose 2.2 percent to 7.27 euros after falling 6.7 percent yesterday. Texas Instruments, the largest maker of analog semiconductors, forecast second-quarter earnings that may top some analysts’ estimates, buoyed by a revival in chip orders.

Automakers Gain

Preferred shares of Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, advanced 1.9 percent to 123.50 euros, after four days of declines. A gauge of auto-related companies was the best performer among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, gaining 2.1 percent.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest luxury automaker, rose 0.9 percent to 67.60 euros. Daimler AG (DAI), the third-biggest, climbed 2 percent to 40.28 euros.

Continental AG (CON), Europe’s second-largest tiremaker, advanced 2.4 percent to 68.95 euros after rival Michelin & Cie. said first-quarter revenue rose 5.1 percent to 5.3 billion euros on higher demand for specialty tires to equip earthmovers, aircraft and agricultural vehicles.

Lufthansa added 2.3 percent to 9.57 euros. Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to overweight, meaning investors should buy the shares, from neutral.

Hochtief AG (HOT), Germany’s biggest builder, climbed 4.2 percent to 42.54 euros after one of its units received contracts worth a total of 672.9 million euros.

Gerresheimer AG (GXI), the maker of glass and plastic products for the health-care industry, added 1.6 percent to 34.88 euros. The shares were upgraded to buy from hold at Commerzbank AG. (CBK)

Linde AG (LIN), the world’s second-biggest supplier of industrial gases, slipped 1.9 percent to 124.10 euros as industry peer Air Products & Chemicals Inc. missed earnings estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

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

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