German Stocks Surge to Record as Allianz Shares Advance

German stocks advanced, pushing the benchmark DAX Index to an all-time high, as Allianz SE and Commerzbank AG posted quarterly earnings and as factory orders in Europe’s largest economy unexpectedly increased.

Allianz rose to the highest price since May 2008 after first-quarter operating profit beat analysts’ forecasts. Commerzbank gained 2.6 percent after reporting a loss that was narrower than estimated. Stada Arzneimittel AG jumped the most in almost 18 months after posting sales that beat projections.

The DAX climbed 0.9 percent to a record level of 8,181.78 at the close in Frankfurt. The gauge rallied 3.9 percent last week as the European Central Bank cut its interest rates and the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly dropped. The broader HDAX Index added 0.8 percent to its highest-ever level.

“German stocks are rallying to record highs as there’s still liquidity fueling the markets and we’ve seen relatively sound macro data,” said Matthias Jasper, head of equities at WGZ Bank AG in Dusseldorf, Germany. “Today, we’ve also seen positive data from corporates like Allianz. People should stay invested in equities and look for further increases. I expect a pretty strong rally in the second half.”

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the DAX was 27 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Factory Orders

German factory orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, increased 2.2 percent in March, following a 2.2 percent gain a month earlier, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast on average a drop of 0.5 percent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2.75 percent. Eight of 29 economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted the seventh cut in the past 19 months.

Allianz added 3.6 percent to 120.70 euros after saying first-quarter operating profit increased 20 percent to 2.80 billion euros ($3.67 billion). Europe’s biggest insurer also said it is on course to meet its 2013 forecast.

“The start to this year can be described as truly successful,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Diekmann said in a statement.

Bank Shares

Commerzbank rose 2.6 percent to 11.09 euros after Germany’s second-biggest lender reported a first-quarter net loss of 94 million euros. Analysts on average had forecast a loss of 153.7 million euros.

Deutsche Bank AG, the country’s largest bank, climbed 1.5 percent to 37.13 euros. A gauge of banking shares was the best performer among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index today.

Stada Arzneimittel jumped 9.1 percent to 32.63 euros, the biggest increase since November 2011, after Germany’s biggest publicly traded maker of generic drugs reported first-quarter sales that beat estimates and confirmed its earnings forecasts for 2013 and 2014.

Hochtief AG jumped 5.9 percent to 56.51 euros, the highest price since July 2011. Germany’s largest construction company said it expects full-year net income of 180 million euros to 220 million euros, compared with a previous forecast of 174 million euros to 190 million euros.

Separately, the builder agreed to sell its airport division to Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada for about 1.5 billion euros.

HeidelbergCement AG rallied 3.5 percent to 56.03 euros as French peer Lafarge SA reiterated its full-year forecast.

“We expect to see cement demand growth in our markets of between 1 percent and 4 percent in 2013,” Lafarge’s Chief Executive Officer Bruno Lafont said in a statement.

Hannover Re slid 1.9 percent to 63 euros after the world’s fourth-biggest reinsurer said first-quarter profit fell 15 percent to 221.4 million euros.

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