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German Stocks Advance as Manufacturing Gauge Rebounds

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks climbed, halting a three-day decline, as reports indicated that manufacturing rebounded in Europe’s largest economy this month and service industries expanded at a faster-than-expected pace.

HeidelbergCement AG added 3.2 percent after JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded the shares. Puma SE slipped 1.6 percent after Europe’s second-largest sporting-goods maker reported earnings before interest and taxes for the second quarter that missed analysts’ estimates.

The DAX Index added 0.8 percent to 8,379.11 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, paring an earlier rally of as much 1.2 percent. The equity benchmark has surged 10 percent this year amid speculation central banks will maintain stimulus measures. The broader HDAX Index gained 0.7 percent today.

“Both German PMIs came out better than expected and above the 50 mark which indicates growth,” Ion-Marc Valahu, co-founder and fund manager at Clairinvest in Geneva, wrote in an e-mail. “It is an encouraging sign that the euro-zone economies have hit their low point and that they are now on the mend.”

A report showed that German manufacturing expanded for the first time since February. The index, which is based on a survey of purchasing managers compiled by Markit Economics, climbed to 50.3 in July, exceeding the 49.2 median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

A gauge of German services rose to 52.5 from 50.4 last month, beating the median estimate of 50.7. A reading greater than 50 means that activity increased.

In China, a preliminary survey indicated that manufacturing contracted at a faster rate this month. The reading of 47.7 for an index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics fell short of estimates.

House Sales

In the U.S., a Commerce Department report showed that sales of new houses rose in June more than economists had forecast. Purchases climbed 8.3 percent to an annualized pace of 497,000, their highest level since May 2008. The median economist estimate compiled by Bloomberg had called for a gain to 484,000.

HeidelbergCement advanced 3.2 percent to 54.99 euros as JPMorgan upgraded the world’s third-largest maker of cement to overweight from neutral, meaning that investors should hold more of the shares than are represented in benchmark indexes. The brokerage described HeidelbergCement as one of its preferred companies in the building-materials industry because of its presence in the U.S. and western Europe.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s largest airline by sales, advanced 3.1 percent to 15.52 euros as a gauge of travel and leisure companies posted the biggest gain of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. EasyJet Plc rallied after saying its fiscal third-quarter revenue climbed.

Dialog Semiconductor

Dialog Semiconductor Plc surged 6.5 percent to 12.55 euros, its highest price in two months, after Apple Inc., the company’s biggest customer, reported fiscal third-quarter revenue and iPhone sales that beat analysts’ estimates.

Puma slipped 1.6 percent to 213.50 euros after posting quarterly Ebit of 31 million euros ($41 million), less than the average analyst projection of 36.1 million euros. Sales also missed estimates, dropping 4 percent to 692 million euros. The company said that revenue declined in all its regions.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the DAX was 6.4 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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