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German Stocks Rise as Economic Growth Exceeds Estimates

German stocks climbed for a fifth day, with the DAX Index extending its highest level in 11 weeks, as a report showed Europe’s largest economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the second quarter.

United Internet AG rallied the most in a year after increasing its forecast for new customers in 2013. Gagfah SA posted its biggest gain in 17 months after the property manager said its ability to generate cash will improve in 2014. RWE AG lost 4.5 percent. Celesio AG fell 1.1 percent as the pharmaceutical wholesaler lowered its 2013 earnings estimate.

The DAX added 0.3 percent to 8,438.12 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark has rallied 9.7 percent from its low on June 24 as the European Central Bank said that interest rates will remain low for an extended period of time. The broader HDAX Index also climbed 0.3 percent today.

“The German economy is doing very well and now there’s better momentum coming out of the periphery,” Michael Kapler, an equities portfolio manager at Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse in Potsdam, Germany, said by phone. “Maybe we are at some kind of turning point here. Expectations were perhaps too low for the euro area, so it’s enough to have data that is better than expected for people to see things as very bright.”

Germany’s Economy

German gross domestic product increased 0.7 percent in the three months through June, the Federal Statistics Office said today. Economists had predicted a gain of 0.6 percent, according to the median of 47 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. France’s economy grew 0.5 percent in the same period, also beating the 0.2 percent growth projected by economists.

The combined economy of the 17 nations in the euro area emerged from its longest recession on record as GDP expanded 0.3 percent in the second quarter, according to a Eurostat report published today. That exceeded the median estimate for growth of 0.2 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

A separate release showed that Portugal’s economy grew at a 1.1 percent pace in the second quarter, halting 10 consecutive quarters of contraction. The median economist estimate had called for GDP to expand 0.1 percent.

United Internet jumped 4.6 percent to 25.62 euros, its highest price since at least October 1998. The company increased its forecast for new customers by 100,000 to 1.1 million for the full year.

Gagfah surged 8.6 percent to 9.60 euros. Funds from operations excluding property sales, a measure of the real estate company’s ability to generate cash, will grow at least 25 percent per share in 2014, Gagfah said in a statement. It had predicted FFO would increase 12.5 percent next year.

Wirecard, RWE

Wirecard AG, which makes electronic-payment software, rose 4.6 percent to 23.95 euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization climbed 14 percent in the first half of the year to 56.2 million euros ($74 million), according to a statement.

RWE dropped 4.5 percent to 21.36 euros after posting first-half recurrent net income of 1.99 billion euros, missing the 2.1 billion-euro average in a Bloomberg survey. The utility jumped the most in four months yesterday.

Celesio fell 1.1 percent to 16.30 euros after predicting that competition in Germany will squeeze earnings this year. The drug distributor forecast adjusted Ebit of 405 million euros to 425 million euros for 2013, less than its previous forecast of as much as 475 million euros.

ThyssenKrupp AG slipped 1.3 percent to 16.63 euros after the steelmaker said the sale of its Steel Americas unit has taken longer than it expected. The net debt to equity, or gearing, ratio jumped to 186 percent in June after several writedowns on the Americas plants, breaching the 150 percent limit in its debt covenants, the company said in a statement late yesterday.

The number of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 23 percent lower than the average of the past 100 days at this time of the day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

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