German Stocks Post Weekly Rally; DAX Index Extends Record

German stocks advanced, as the benchmark DAX Index extended its record high and completed its third weekly gain, after a report showed exports from the country increased in March.

Salzgitter AG, Germany’s second-biggest steelmaker, jumped 4 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG advised investors to buy the shares. HeidelbergCement AG rose to the highest price in seven weeks after DZ Bank AG upgraded its rating of the stock.

The DAX added 0.2 percent to 8,278.59 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity benchmark gained 1.9 percent this week as companies reported better-than-forecast results and German factory orders unexpectedly rose. The benchmark has rallied 8.8 percent so far this year. The broader HDAX Index also increased 0.2 percent today.

“The rally is liquidity driven,” Raimund Saxinger, a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment GmbH, which oversees about $22 billion, said in a phone interview. “Especially, cyclicals are in demand. This seems to suggest that there is increasing optimism of a recovery in the second half of this year.”

South Korea cut its main interest rate yesterday. That was the 511th reduction worldwide since June 2007, according to Bank of America Corp.’s tally, done before Vietnam and Sri Lanka today said they’re lowering their policy rates.

Trade Data

German exports, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, advanced 0.5 percent in March from February, when they dropped 1.2 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. The increase matched the median forecast of 16 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports rose 0.8 percent.

Salzgitter jumped 4 percent to 32.32 euros after Credit Suisse upgraded the shares to outperform, a rating similar to buy, from neutral.

HeidelbergCement advanced 2.1 percent 57.78 euros, its highest price since March 20, as DZ Bank raised the stock to buy from hold.

Deutsche Telekom AG rose 2.2 percent to 9.74 euros as a gauge of telecommunication companies posted the biggest gain among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX was 21 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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