German stocks advanced, paring a weekly drop for the benchmark DAX Index, as investors weighed U.S. economic data and stimulus policies from central banks.
Hochtief AG jumped 5.9 percent after saying it will buy back as much as 260 million euros ($347 million) of its own shares. Lanxess AG gained 2.5 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux upgraded its recommendation on the stock.
The DAX Index added 0.4 percent to 8,127.96 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark still lost 1.5 percent this week on concern that the Federal Reserve will start to taper its bond-purchase program in September. The broader HDAX Index rose 0.5 percent today.
“Overall good numbers in the U.S. with confidence data hovering around the highs of the year,” Ion-Marc Valahu, co-founder and fund manager at Clairinvest in Geneva, wrote in an e-mail. “This should be a positive for the markets.”
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX index was 29 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Industrial production in the U.S. was unchanged in May, data showed. Last month’s output at factories, mines and utilities followed a revised 0.4 percent decrease in April that was smaller than previously reported, a Federal Reserve report showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2 percent advance.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan June preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 82.7 from a final reading of 84.5 the prior month, a report today showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey was for 84.5.
Hochtief gained 5.9 percent to 51.75 euros, the biggest increase in four months. The Essen, Germany-based company controlled by Spain’s Actividades de Construccion & Servicios SA, plans to buy as many as 4.3 million shares, representing about 5.6 percent of its capital, over the next six months.
Lanxess, the chemical manufacturer that joined the DAX in September, gained 2.5 percent to 54.64 euros after Kepler Cheuvreux upgraded the shares to buy from hold, citing signs of an improvement in the sector as demand increases on low inventory levels.
Preferred shares of Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, rose 0.7 percent to 159.15 euros after reporting group sales that increased 6.9 percent to 816,500 units in May.
Continental AG, Europe’s second-largest supplier of auto parts, advanced 1.9 percent to 100.80 euros. Michelin & Cie, Europe’s largest tiremaker, rose today after its website showed demand for tires surged in Brazil last month.
A gauge of carmakers was the third-best performer of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, gained 3 percent to 14.92 euros. JPMorgan Chase & Co. recommended investors buy the stock on current share-price weakness.
Deutsche Boerse AG, operator of the Frankfurt stock exchange, gained 0.9 percent to 48.39 euros after Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the German government is listening to investor complaints about the proposed financial transactions tax and will take their views into account when designing the levy at a European level.
Merkel, in an interview in the Chancellery in Berlin today, signaled she’s sensitive to industry concerns the tax in its current form threatens to backfire, hurting pensions and damaging the wider economy without raising the revenue planned.