German stocks gained, as a slide in BASF SE was offset by a rise in Infineon Technologies AG after applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in three months.
BASF fell 1.5 percent after it reported a chemical spill in the U.S. Chipmaker Infineon rose 1.5 percent after Morgan Stanley recommended the shares in new coverage. Demag Cranes AG jumped 6.2 percent after the Financial Times Deutschland reported that Finland’s Konecranes Oyj may make an offer for the company.
The DAX Index gained 0.1 percent to 6,276.25 at the close in Frankfurt, after swinging between gains and losses at least 12 times. The measure rallied 4.4 percent in the third quarter as investors speculated that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks will provide more stimulus for the ailing global recovery. The broader HDAX Index added less than 0.1 percent today.
Jobless claims in the world’s largest economy dropped by 11,000 to 445,000 in the week ended Oct. 2, the fewest since July 10, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected 455,000 new claims last week, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance decreased and those getting extended payments jumped.
Industrial production in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, increased at more than three times the pace that economists forecast in August, led by demand for investment goods such as machinery.
Production jumped 1.7 percent from July, when it rose 0.1 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.5 percent, the median of 36 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, production increased 10.7 percent when adjusted for the number of work days.
Infineon climbed 1.5 percent to 5.16 euros, erasing yesterday’s 1.2 percent slide. The chipmaker was rated at “overweight” at Morgan Stanley.
Demag, the world’s largest maker of harbor cranes, jumped 6.2 percent to 31.49 euros, its highest price since September 2008. Konecranes may make an offer for Demag, the Financial Times Deutschland reported, without saying where it got the information. Konecranes declined to comment.
BASF, the world’s biggest chemical company, declined 1.5 percent to 47.77 euros, paring two days of gains. The chemical company reported a spill in a process unit at its chemical plant in Port Arthur, Texas, according to a message left on a community hotline.
Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG advanced 1.8 percent to 25.38 euros, the highest price since April. Societe Generale SA increased its price estimate on the stock to 30 euros from 28 euros.
HeidelbergerCement AG, the world’s third-largest cement maker, tumbled 4.7 percent to 35.40 euros, the biggest fall since Aug. 24.
“The market is a bit nervous about negative pricing in the U.S.,” Tim Cahill, an analyst at Davy Stockbrokers, said in an interview. “Industry discipline is being tested by very low utilization rates.”
Kloeckner & Co. SE, the German metals trader, slipped 1.7 percent to 16.09 euros, falling for a second day. The company was cut to “neutral” from “add” at WestLB AG.
Gerresheimer AG shares fell 3.2 percent to 28.58 euros and ElringKlinger AG shares slipped 0.5 percent to 22.28 euros. Both were cut to “hold” at from “buy” at Equinet Bank AG.