German stocks rose, halting a three day retreat for the benchmark DAX Index, after better-than-forecast U.S. durables-goods and housing data bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.
Celesio AG rallied the most in almost nine months after the drug wholesaler reported an increase in earnings. HeidelbergCement AG gained 4.3 percent as JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its profit forecast for the cement maker. Adidas AG gained 1.2 percent after the company said it is confident it will reach its goals for 2015.
The DAX rose 0.1 percent to 7,879.67 at the close in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark lost 1.6 percent in the past three days as Cyprus negotiated bailout terms with the euro area to help the island nation avoid bankruptcy. The broader HDAX Index added 0.2 percent today.
“U.S. data has generally been better than the euro zone,” said Ioan Smith, a strategist at Knight Capital Europe Ltd. in London. Even so “the worst of the effects of the sequester have yet to be felt, making this the period of greatest risk to the momentum of the U.S. economy.”
Today’s report showed a 5.7 percent increase U.S. durable goods for February, the most since September, propelled by automobiles and a rebound in commercial aircraft. That beat the median economist forecast for a 3.9 percent advance. Separate data showed house prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed 8.1 percent in January, the biggest 12-month gain since June 2006. That also exceeded the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
Stocks briefly erased gains and the euro fell after Reuters reported that the European Parliament will push for bank depositors with more than 100,000 euros ($129,000) to face losses. The news agency cited lawmaker Gunnar Hokmark.
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX were limited ahead of the Good Friday holiday. Trading today was 20 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Celesio climbed 4 percent to 14.50 euros, the most since June 29, after the company reported a 4.5 percent increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding some costs, to 579.6 million euros in 2012. Celesio had predicted that profit would at least match the 2011 level.
HeidelbergCement rallied 4.3 percent to 56.40 euros, climbing for the first time in four days. JPMorgan upgraded its 2013 earnings-per-share estimate by 6 percent to account for foreign-exchange effects and lower interest changes. The brokerage also raised its price estimate by 27 percent to 58.80 euros, saying the stock is benefiting from a “reasonably positive outlook for 2013.”
A separate report by UBS AG said fundamentals for the cement industry are improving, saying pricing dynamics have “improved significantly to recover some lost gross margins.”
Adidas advanced 1.2 percent to 82.31 euros after Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer said in an interview with France’s Le Figaro newspaper that the company had “excellent” elements to help it reach goals.
Rheinmetall AG dropped 4.4 percent to 36.15 euros after Deutsche Bank AG lowered its recommendation for the engineering company to sell from hold, saying its full-year outlook last week disappointed investors.