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German Stocks Advance as U.S. Reports Beat Forecasts

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Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks advanced as fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time unemployment claims, U.S. consumer confidence rose and manufacturing in the world’s largest economy expanded at a faster pace than projected.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG advanced 3 percent after Citigroup Inc. upgraded the stock. Volkswagen AG gained 2.8 percent as a gauge of European carmakers climbed. Fresenius Medical Care AG dropped 3.1 percent as Piper Jaffray Cos. downgraded its recommendation on the shares.

The DAX Index added 1 percent to 7,335.67 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark has rallied 23 percent from this year’s low on June 5 as the European Central Bank approved an unlimited bond-buying program and the U.S. Federal Reserve started a third round of asset purchases. The broader HDAX Index also rose 1 percent today.

“This is wonderful economic data from the U.S., which is good news for the market,” Robert Halver, head of capital markets research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “We see that supportive monetary policy in America will lead to an economic rebound. The earnings season as well is not running that bad which means 2013 will not be the annus horribilis that we had in 2009. It could be quite a supportive year for equities and the economy.”

In the U.S., applications for jobless benefits fell 9,000 to 363,000 in the week ended Oct. 27, the fewest in three weeks, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Data for New Jersey and the District of Columbia were estimated because those offices were closed due to Hurricane Sandy, a spokesman said as the figures were released.

U.S. Confidence

Confidence among American consumers climbed in October to a more than four-year high. The Conference Board’s sentiment index increased to 72.2, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 68.4 in September, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The figure was projected to rise to 73, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in October at a faster pace than projected as orders and production picked up. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 51.7 last month, the highest since May, from 51.5 in September, the Tempe, Arizona, group reported today.

Economists estimated 51 for October, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction.

Chinese Manufacturing

Chinese manufacturing expanded for the first time in three months in October as output and new orders climbed, adding to signs that growth in the world’s second-biggest economy is rebounding after a seven-quarter slowdown.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 50.2 last month from 49.8 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. A separate survey from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at an eight-month high.

BMW, the world’s biggest luxury-car maker, rose 3 percent to 63.32 euros as Citigroup raised its price target on the stock to 68 euros from 65 euros.

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, gained 2.8 percent to 164 euros, its highest price in 20 years. Daimler AG, the world’s third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, added 1.3 percent to 36.51 euros.

A gauge of automakers in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.7 percent.

Adidas, Puma

Adidas AG, the second-biggest sporting-goods maker, rose 1.2 percent to 66.49 euros. Puma SE, Europe’s second largest sporting-goods maker, advanced 2.9 percent to 226.40 euros.

A measure of personal and household-goods related stocks in the Stoxx 600 gained 1.6 percent.

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-biggest semiconductor maker, added 4.1 percent to 5.47 euros.

Rational AG, the biggest maker of automated cookers for professional kitchens, climbed 3.2 percent to 201.40 euros as DZ Bank AG raised its rating on the stock to hold from sell.

HeidelbergCement AG, the world’s third-largest maker of the building material, rose 2.2 percent to 41.81 euros as Bankhaus Metzler upgraded the stock to buy from sell, forecasting a 12-month target price of 46 euros per share.

Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s biggest provider of kidney dialysis, dropped 3.1 percent to 52.51 euros as Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to neutral, the equivalent of hold, from overweight.

Fresenius SE, Germany’s largest operator of private hospitals, retreated 1.9 percent to 86.29 euros as Bankhaus Metzler downgraded the stock to sell from buy. The private bank forecast a 12-month target price of 84 euros for the shares.

Deutsche Boerse AG, the operator of the Frankfurt exchange, lost 0.9 percent to 41.38 euros.

Wacker Chemie AG, a maker of polysilicon, dropped 3.2 percent to 42.21 euros as China started a trade investigation into imports of solar-grade polysilicon from the European Union.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net

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

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