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German Stocks Advance; Linde, BASF, HeidelbergCement Lead Gains

German stocks advanced for a third day, following gains across Europe, after earnings from Akzo Nobel NV to Apple Inc. exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Linde AG, the world’s second-biggest maker of industrial gases, and BASF SE, the world’s biggest chemical maker, followed Akzo Nobel higher. HeidelbergCement AG climbed after UBS AG listed the company among its preferred building stocks.

The benchmark DAX Index gained 46.3, or 0.6 percent, to 7,295.49 at 5:39 p.m. in Frankfurt as the gauge posted a 1.6 percent increase this week. The broader HDAX Index also advanced 0.6 percent today. European markets will be closed for a holiday tomorrow.

“Positive earnings are doing the business,” said James Hughes, a senior market analyst at Alpari U.K. Ltd. in London. “While risk appetite is there, the market will run away with it.”

Germany stocks rallied the most in almost 11 months yesterday. The DAX has climbed 12 percent from this year’s low on March 16 as investors speculated that the global economic recovery will withstand Japan’s March 11 earthquake and popular revolts in the Middle East and north Africa.

German business confidence fell for a second month in April after oil prices rose to the highest in 2 1/2 years, damping the global economic outlook and threatening to curb domestic consumer spending in Europe’s largest economy.

Business Climate

The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 110.4 from 111.1 in March. Economists had predicted a decline to 110.5, according to the median of 38 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The index rose to 111.3 in February, the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.

Stocks kept their gains today even after a report showed that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region of the U.S. slowed more than forecast in April as measures of orders and sales fell.

Linde advanced 2.4 percent to 119.40 euros. BASF climbed 0.9 percent to 65.86 euros. Akzo Nobel, the world’s biggest paintmaker, reported first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

HeidelbergCement added 1.4 percent to 51.84 euros. UBS listed the stock as one of its preferred names in the European building materials industry.

Fuchs Petrolub AG increased 2.7 percent to 110.45 euros. Net income for the maker of lubricants climbed to 47.1 million euros in the first quarter from 40.4 million euros a year earlier, and sales also rose, the company said in a statement.

Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany’s largest phone company, lost 1.6 percent to 11.06 euros as telecommunications shares dropped across Europe. Royal KPN NV, the biggest Dutch phone company, cut its 2011 profit forecast and said it plans to eliminate as much as 25 percent of its workforce in the Netherlands by 2015 as revenue stagnates.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, the world’s largest maker of printing presses, slid 2.7 percent to 3.06 euros. The stock was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” at HSBC Holdings Plc.

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