German Stocks Advance as U.S. Jobless Claims Fall

German stocks advanced for a fourth day as data showed the U.K. economy avoided a triple-dip recession, and fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week.

MTU Aero Engines Holding AG gained 1.2 percent as first-quarter profit beat estimates. Daimler AG led carmakers higher. Software AG dropped 1.5 percent after quarterly revenue missed estimates and profit fell.

The DAX Index added 1 percent to 7,832.86 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The benchmark gauge saw its biggest four-day gain since August, rising 5 percent, amid speculation that the European Central Bank will lower interest rates. The broader HDAX Index rose 0.8 percent today.

“On Tuesday we had the typical short squeeze and yesterday we had ongoing ECB speculation and today nobody is selling, everybody is trying to cover their shorts and everybody is trying to be part of this party,” said Andreas Lipkow, a senior market strategist at Kliegel & Hafner AG in Berlin. “We will get more earnings figures in the next couple of weeks and it’s very important that the companies give some reasons to buy stocks at these levels.”

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the DAX was 38 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Britain’s economy avoided a triple-dip recession in the first quarter with expansion that exceeded economists’ forecasts. Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the period, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of 37 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for 0.1 percent growth.

U.S. Jobless

In the U.S., applications for jobless benefits decreased by 16,000 to 339,000 in the week ended April 20, the lowest since March 9, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Economists projected 350,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

MTU Aero Engines added 1.2 percent to 72.60 euros. Germany’s biggest aircraft-engine maker reported first-quarter pre-tax profit of 89.3 million euros ($116.1 million), beating analysts’ estimates for 87 million euros. Revenue jumped 35 percent to 944.7 million euros, compared with analysts’ estimates of 915.8 million euros.

HeidelbergCement rose 3.2 percent to 54.21 euros as a gauge of European construction shares advanced.

Daimler, the world’s third-largest luxury carmaker, climbed 1.9 percent to 41.33 euros. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG added 1.6 percent to 68.89 euros. Preferred shares of Volkswagen AG gained 1.3 percent to 152.60 euros. A measure of automakers posted the second-biggest gain of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600 Europe Index.

ThyssenKrupp Rises

ThyssenKrupp AG climbed 1.5 percent to 14.25 euros. Germany’s biggest steelmaker narrowed the bidders for its U.S. and Brazilian assets in a sale process that may bring in more than $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Munich Re gained 1.7 percent to 158.65 euros. The world’s largest reinsurer said profit in the first quarter was “close to 1 billion euros” after a slight increase in prices and no major natural catastrophes.

Borussia Dortmund GmbH jumped 6.4 percent to 3.21 euros after the German football club beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Evonik Industries AG, Germany’s third-biggest chemical maker, advanced 2.6 percent to 33.04 euros on the first day of trading after it listed the 14.5 percent of shares it had already sold to institutional investors.

Software AG retreated 1.5 percent to 27.47 euros, paring earlier losses of as much as 4.7 percent. Germany’s second-largest software maker posted first-quarter revenue of 224.9 million euros, missing analysts’ estimates of 242.8 million euros. Profit fell 24 percent to 27.2 million euros.

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