German stocks advanced, following their biggest decline in more than two weeks, as a gauge of European carmakers advanced.
Volkswagen AG (VOW) and Porsche Automobil Holding SE rose with a gauge of European auto companies. Deutsche Boerse AG climbed 2.5 percent after four days of drops. SGL Carbon SE (SGL) lost 4 percent after the maker of carbon fibers said operating income may fall this year.
The DAX (DAX) added 0.4 percent to 9,656.95 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The benchmark gauge slipped less than 0.1 percent this week after the Federal Reserve’s last meeting signaled stimulus cuts will continue and a report showed Chinese manufacturing probably contracted this month. The HDAX Index gained 0.4 percent today.
“We’ve seen investors looking past the weaker economic data published earlier this week,” Reto Huenerwadel, a senior economist at UBS AG in Zurich, said in an interview. “They’d rather concentrate on possible implications for monetary policy going forward. Sentiment is generally relaxed as we head into the weekend.”
The number of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 20 percent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on volumes at this time of the day.
In the U.S., a National Association of Realtors report showed that purchases of previously owned homes fell 5.1 percent in January to a 4.62 million annual pace. Economists had forecast a 4.1 percent drop to a 4.67 million annual rate.
Volkswagen gained 1.5 percent to 201 euros and Porsche added 1.9 percent to 80.08 euros. A gauge of carmakers posted the best performance of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as component maker Valeo SA rallied after reporting that six-month earnings beat analysts’ estimates.
Deutsche Boerse climbed 2.5 percent to 59.58 euros after falling 3 percent in the four days through yesterday.
Aareal Bank AG (ARL) rose 5.3 percent to 31.46 euros. Kepler Cheuvreux raised its price estimate for the stock by 9.4 percent to 35 euros, citing the potential for dividend increases and a plan for higher returns.
Dialog Semiconductor Plc (DLG) jumped 2.7 percent to 15.78 euros. Kepler Cheuvreux increased its price forecast for the maker of chips used in Apple Inc.’s iPhone by 5.3 percent to 20 euros, citing potential for higher profit margins. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised it to 15.60 euros from 14.50 euros, citing an improvement in gross margin.
SGL Carbon, the maker of graphite electrodes, fell 4 percent to 29.21 euros after saying operating income may drop this year unless the market improves. The comments follow a net loss of almost 400 million euros ($548 million) last year. SGL also said it won’t pay a dividend for 2013.
The company warned yesterday that its main business had a negative start in the first few weeks of the year, indicating earnings may decline in 2014.
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