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German Stocks Extend a Record as ECB Lowers Interest Rate

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks climbed, extending a record for the DAX Index, as the European Central Bank unexpectedly lowered its benchmark interest rate.

Commerzbank AG surged the most in three months after Germany’s second-biggest bank reported a 15 percent increase in third-quarter profit as it paid less tax. Siemens AG rose to its highest price in 31 months after posting income from continuing operations that beat analysts’ estimates. HeidelbergCement AG dropped 3.8 percent after the world’s third-largest maker of cement said quarterly profit fell 7 percent.

The DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 9,081.03 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark has rallied 19 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. The broader HDAX Index gained 0.3 percent today.

“Markets are surging up on the interest-rate decision,” Christoph Hock, an equity sales trader at Alpha Wertpapierhandels GmbH in Frankfurt, wrote in an e-mail.

The ECB lowered its key interest rate to 0.25 percent, a record low, from 0.5 percent. Only three of the 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast that the central bank would cut its benchmark rate. The bank left its deposit rate at zero.

President Mario Draghi said inflationary pressures in the euro area have diminished. He added that policy makers expect interest rates to remain low for an extended period of time.

In the U.S., a Commerce Department report showed that the world’s biggest economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the third quarter. That beat the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey for growth of 2 percent. Gross domestic product increased 2.5 percent in the second quarter.

Commerzbank, Siemens

Commerzbank jumped 10 percent to 10.26 euros after posting net income that climbed to 77 million euros ($103 million) from 67 million a year earlier. That beat the 32 million-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The lender said it paid 3 million euros of tax in the three months through September, down from 118 million euros a year ago. Loan-loss provisions fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Siemens gained 3.4 percent to 95.66 euros after Europe’s largest engineering company reported profit from continuing operations of 1.08 billion euros for the fourth quarter of its financial year. That beat the 997 million-euro average projection of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company also said it will buy back as much as 4 billion euros of shares over the next two years.

Continental Rallies

Continental AG surged 6.8 percent to 144.35 euros after Europe’s second-largest auto-parts maker raised its earnings forecast for 2013. The company said growth in China and North America outweighed the effect of a strengthening euro. The single currency has gained 5 this year, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes.

Earnings before interest and taxes, adjusted for one-off items, acquisitions and disposals, will total at least 10.5 percent of sales, the company said in a statement. That compares with an earlier forecast of a margin exceeding 10 percent.

HeidelbergCement dropped 3.8 percent to 56.88 euros after posting operating income before depreciation of 811 million euros in the third quarter, compared with 872 million euros a year ago. The company said the strengthening of the euro in the third quarter of this year hurt revenue and operating income.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 70 percent greater 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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