German Stocks Advance as Euro-Area Confidence Increases

German stocks advanced for a fourth day, with the benchmark DAX Index erasing this year’s losses, as a measure of euro-area economic confidence increased in March more than forecast.

Daimler AG gained 2.6 percent after saying it agreed with its Chinese joint-venture partner to more than double Mercedes-Benz production capacity at their Beijing plant. Deutsche Wohnen AG added 1.1 percent after saying 2013 profit rose 68 percent. ElringKlinger AG jumped 6 percent after the maker of automobile parts confirmed its preliminary 2013 results and forecasts.

The DAX climbed 1.4 percent to 9,587.19 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The equity gauge rose 2.6 percent this week. Shares have still lost 1.1 percent so far in March amid tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s Crimea region. The DAX has risen 0.4 percent this year. The broader HDAX Index rose 1.3 percent today.

“Almost every day we don’t get negative news out of Ukraine or China, the market goes up,” Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management AG in Zurich, said by telephone. “The underlying tone is still positive. Things are not deteriorating in Europe and the U.S. The European economy is just budding, but the periphery is doing much better than we envisioned three months ago.”

An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the euro area rose to 102.4 from 101.2 in February, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That beat the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists and is the highest reading since July 2011.

The volume of shares changing hands in DAX-listed companies was 25 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Daimler advanced 2.6 percent to 68.83 euros. The world’s third-largest maker of luxury vehicles and joint-venture partner Beijing Automotive Group Co. will spend 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) to more than double Mercedes-Benz production capacity at their Beijing plant to keep pace with rising demand.

A gauge of carmakers posted the biggest gain of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Volkswagen AG rose 2.4 percent to 188.65 euros and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG advanced 1 percent to 92.23 euros.

Deutsche Wohnen

Deutsche Wohnen added 1.1 percent to 15.54 euros. Germany’s second-largest residential landlord by market value said 2013 profit rose 68 percent after the company took advantage of cheap financing to expand its portfolio.

ElringKlinger jumped 6 percent to 28.37 euros. The Dettingen-based company forecast revenue growth of as much as 7 percent this year.

Manz AG rose 2.2 percent to 65.83 euros. The supplier of equipment to the solar and flat-panel industries predicted “significant improvement” in 2014 earnings before interest and taxes.

Nemetschek AG rallied 6.6 percent to 60.07 euros, the highest price since August 2000. The provider of real-estate design software said net income jumped 23 percent in 2013. The Munich-based company also forecast sales this year will rise as much as 14 percent.

Stratec Biomedical AG climbed 2.8 percent to 32.05 euros. The medical-analysis equipment maker said in a preliminary report that Ebit rose 11 percent and sales increased 4.6 percent in 2013.

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