German stocks advanced for a second day as reports showed U.S. consumer confidence climbed in May to the highest level in more than five years and home prices rose the most in seven years in the 12 months through March.
Bayer AG gained 2.2 percent after analysts upgraded the shares. Continental AG added 2 percent after announcing an agreement with OC Oerlikon Corp. to develop and sell transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Aixtron SE jumped to its highest price in a year after Natixis raised its recommendation on the stock.
The DAX Index climbed 1.2 percent to 8,480.87 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, its biggest increase in more than three weeks. The measure fell 1.1 percent last week amid concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will reduce its stimulus measures. The gauge is still heading for a gain of 7.2 percent this month, its biggest monthly advance since January 2012. The HDAX Index also rose 1.2 percent today.
“Global investors have bought the dip again after a volatile recent week and have come into a shortened week, feeling positive on better housing,” Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capital Management LLC in Munich, wrote in an e-mail.
In the U.S., the Conference Board’s index rose to 76.2, the strongest since February 2008 and exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from a revised 69 in April, data from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast called for an increase to 71.2.
Separately, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.9 percent from March 2012, the biggest 12-month gain since April 2006, after advancing 9.4 percent in February, a report showed in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 10.2 percent gain.
Home prices adjusted for seasonal variations increased 1.1 percent in March, compared with a 1.3 gain in February. The Bloomberg survey median called for a 1 percent rise.
Bayer, the maker of drugs and agricultural chemicals, climbed 2.2 percent to 86.60 euros, its highest price since at least 1992. Jefferies & Co. upgraded its rating of the shares to buy from hold, citing “positive momentum” in the company’s pharma and crop-science divisions, and the potential benefits from restructuring.
Continental added 2 percent to 101.80 euros. Europe’s second-largest supplier of auto parts and OC Oerlikon said they will cooperate on the development and marketing of integrated motor-transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Aixtron jumped 7.8 percent to 13.57 euros. Natixis raised its recommendation on the maker of equipment for the semiconductor industry to buy from neutral, citing a rebounding LED industry that the company should benefit from.
Allianz SE added 2 percent to 120.60 euros. A group of investors led by Europe’s biggest insurer agreed to buy a shopping mall in the Polish city of Katowice from Immofinanz AG for 412 million euros ($532 million).
Bilfinger SE jumped 6.1 percent to 82.52 euros, its highest price since at least 1993, as Germany’s second-biggest builder began the sale of its concessions business, which delivers and operates transport and social infrastructure projects as a private partner to the public sector.
Commerzbank AG declined 0.2 percent to 8 euros after earlier rising as much as 3 percent. Shares erased gains after Standard & Poor’s lowered the debt rating of Germany’s second-biggest bank on concern the lender will struggle to boost earnings on a sustainable basis.
S&P cut Commerzbank’s long-term counterparty and senior unsecured credit ratings to A- from A, and its short-term rating to A-2 from A-1, the ratings company said in an e-mailed statement today. The outlook on the Frankfurt-based bank is negative.
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX was 13 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.