German Stocks Gain as Axel Springer Rises on Subscribers

German stocks climbed, after retreating the most in almost a week yesterday, as investors weighed the outlook for U.S. monetary stimulus.

Axel Springer SE rose 2.2 percent after saying its online news site has attracted more paying subscribers. Bilfinger SE (GBF) fell 1.1 percent after UBS AG cut its shares to neutral. C.A.T. Oil AG plunged 13 percent after two managers sold shares in the Russian oil-services company at a 20 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price.

The DAX Index (DAX) added 0.3 percent to 9,139.6 at 1:01 p.m. in Frankfurt, taking its increase for the year to 20 percent. The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the DAX was 30 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The equity benchmark dropped 0.9 percent yesterday. The broader HDAX Index also gained 0.3 percent today.

“The market seems to be saying ‘let’s pause for a moment and assess everything and look for a catalyst,’” Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London, said in a phone interview. “The Fed doesn’t have all the ingredients to taper yet, so the market’s saying ‘let’s close up shop and go on vacation.’”

Federal Reserve policy makers meet on Dec. 17-18 to decide whether to reduce their monthly asset purchases. The proportion of economists predicting a Fed decision to slow the bond-buying program next week climbed to 34 percent in a Bloomberg survey conducted on Dec. 6. Some 17 percent in the preceding survey on Nov. 8 said the Fed would taper at the December meeting.

U.S. Budget

Republican and Democrat negotiators late yesterday reached a deal to limit automatic spending cuts for the next two years. The agreement would reduce the cuts by $60 billion in total over two years and lower the deficit by as much as $23 billion if both chambers of Congress approve it.

Axel Springer gained 2.2 percent to 45.52 euros. Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher said the online version of its flagship tabloid Bild has attracted more than 152,000 paying customers in its first six months of publication.

Bilfinger fell 1.1 percent to 81.25 euros after UBS downgraded Germany’s second-biggest builder to neutral from a buy rating. The brokerage cited the shares’ rally. They have surged 15 percent since the end of June.

C.A.T. Oil sank 13 percent to 19.66 euros, its largest slide in 28 months. A holding company for the two managers said it raised 108 million euros ($149 million) by selling six million shares at 18 euros apiece.

To contact the reporter on this story: Trista Kelley in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at

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