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German Stocks Rise the Most in Three Weeks as Metro Gains

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks rose the most in three weeks as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that interest rates will remain low for an extended period.

Metro AG rose the most in two months as Germany’s biggest retailer reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG dropped after the world’s biggest maker of luxury vehicles reported that profit decreased 8.8 percent in the second quarter.

The DAX Index added 1.6 percent to 8,410.73 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark climbed 4 percent last month and has risen 9.3 percent from a low on June 24. The broader HDAX Index also increased 1.6 percent today.

“The headlines around Metro have been good as the German economy shows signs of doing quite well,” Raimund Saxinger, a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment GmbH, which oversees about $22 billion, said in a telephone interview.

The ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent today, as predicted by all but one of 63 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. In a press conference following the decision, Draghi said that interest rates will not increase any time soon.

“Current expectations of rate hikes in money markets are, according to our assessment, unwarranted,” Draghi said.

Metro jumped 8.5 percent to 28.11 euros after posting second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and special items of 276 million euros ($365 million). Analysts on average had estimated 269.2 million euros.

Siemens, Bayer

Siemens AG rose 2.6 percent to 84.45 euros as Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Europe’s biggest engineering company to buy from hold, saying that the new chief executive officer can focus the company around its core businesses of automation, power generation and health care. The brokerage increased its target price on the shares to 95 euros from 75 euros.

Bayer AG climbed 2.4 percent to 89.43 euros as JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its price estimate on the drugmaker’s shares to 100 euros from 95 euros. The brokerage increased its sales forecasts for Bayer’s five new medicines, which include Xarelto and Eylea.

BMW dropped 0.8 percent to 73.01 euros as the automaker said Ebit declined to 2.07 billion euros because of higher investment in new models including its first electric car. Analysts on average had forecast 2.08 billion euros. The company also said that demand will not recover in Europe before the second half of 2014.

Draegerwerk AG, which makes medical equipment, retreated 4 percent to 97 euros after reporting second-quarter Ebit of 39.4 million euros. That missed the average analyst estimate of 43.7 million euros.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 2.6 percent greater than the average of the last 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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