German stocks advanced for the fourth day in five as U.S. lawmakers continued budget discussions and after a report showed Chinese manufacturing expanded at a faster-than-expected pace.
Fresenius SE, Germany’s biggest operator of private hospitals, rose 1.2 percent after saying it is in talks to sell its biotechnology unit. Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG climbed as Stoxx Europe 600 Index automakers posted the biggest gain among industry groups. Deutsche Bank AG, the country’s largest lender, led declining shares.
The DAX added 0.2 percent to 7,596.47 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, for a 1.1 percent increase this week. The benchmark measure has rallied 27 percent from this year’s low on June 5 as the European Central Bank unveiled an unlimited bond-purchase program and the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing. The broader HDAX Index also climbed 0.2 percent today.
“We have good news from China,” said Arnaud Scarpaci, a fund manager at Montaigne Capital in Paris, which oversees $221 million. “It’s a signal of a rebound and recovery. China is a locomotive of growth and there are many big exporters, such as Germany.”
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for a third time at the White House yesterday to discuss averting the $607 billion of spending cuts and tax increases due to come into effect in January. There was no public announcement of progress after the talks.
In China, a report showed manufacturing in the world’s second-biggest economy may expand at a faster pace this month. The December preliminary reading was 50.9 for a purchasing managers’ index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. That compares with the 50.8 median projection in a Bloomberg News survey.
Fresenius added 1.2 percent to 89 euros. The company said it is in talks with several parties to sell its biotechnology unit.
Daimler climbed 2.5 percent to 40.67 euros. BMW advanced 1.3 percent to 71.73 euros. A measure of auto companies was the best performer of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.
HeidelbergCement AG, the world’s third-largest maker of the building material, rose 1.8 percent to 43.92 euros. Citigroup Inc. reiterated its buy recommendation on the shares, saying it sees increased earnings visibility in the industry.
PSI AG, a maker of software for large-network management, rose 3.4 percent to 15.67 euros after Chief Executive Officer Harald Schrimpf predicted a “very strong” first quarter.
Hugo Boss AG, the German luxury-clothing maker controlled by Permira Advisers LLP, added 3.4 percent to 81.68 euros. The stock was rated buy in new coverage at Hauck & Aufhaeuser.
ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG climbed 1.8 percent to 23.66 euros. Discovery Communications Inc. agreed to buy the northern European assets of the German broadcaster as the owner of the Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery channels looks overseas for growth.
Deutsche Bank lost 2.1 percent to 32.65 euros. Co-Chief Executive Officer Juergen Fitschen said police raids on the company’s headquarters this week were overdone and hinder efforts to change its corporate culture, Handelsblatt reported, citing an interview.