Bloomberg News

German Stocks Rise as Manufacturing Shrinks Less Than Estimated

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks advanced as a gauge of manufacturing output in Europe’s biggest economy contracted less than estimated, Spain exceeded its fund-raising target at a bond auction and U.S. claims for jobless benefits fell.

Allianz SE and Munich Re followed a rally in European insurance companies. Aixtron SE and Vossloh AG rose after analysts upgraded the shares. Sky Deutschland AG dropped 7.2 percent as Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the stock.

The benchmark DAX Index advanced 1 percent to 5,730.62 at the close in Frankfurt. The measure had dropped for three consecutive days as concern grew that the euro-area sovereign- debt crisis is deepening. The broader HDAX Index also climbed 1 percent today.

“We see good economic data and that’s a good sign,” said Robert Halver, head of research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt. “The U.S. won’t have a double dip and even in the euro zone there are hints that we could prevent a massive recession. The money policy is the most important factor to get rid of the bad mood.”

A German index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry rose to 48.1 this month from 47.9 in November, London-based Markit Economics said today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a drop to 47.5. Readings below 50 indicate a contraction. Germany’s services output unexpectedly increased, the report showed.

Spanish Bonds

Spain sold 6.03 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of bonds today, compared with the maximum target of 3.5 billion euros the Treasury set for the auction, the Bank of Spain said.

German stocks extended gains as manufacturing in the New York region expanded more than forecast and American jobless- benefit claims unexpectedly declined. Jobless claims dropped by 19,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Dec. 10, the fewest since May 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a reading of 390,000.

Manufacturing in the New York region expanded more than forecast to the highest level in seven months in December, as measures of employment and new orders improved. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index rose to 9.5, from 0.6 in November. Economists projected the gauge would rise to 3, based on the median of 55 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.

Allianz Advances

Allianz, Europe’s biggest insurer, gained 2.7 percent to 73.47 euros. Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, climbed 1.9 percent to 91.44 euros. Insurance companies were the best- performing industry in the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index today, rising 2.3 percent.

Aixtron advanced 2.5 percent to 9.02 euros after the supplier to the semiconductor industry was raised to “hold” from “reduce” at WestLB AG.

Vossloh rose 2.6 percent to 73.40 euros after Equinet Bank AG upgraded the manufacturer of railroad equipment to “buy” from “sell.”

Sky Deutschland dropped 7.2 percent to 1.40 euros, the lowest in four weeks, after the pay-television operator controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was cut to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse.

--With assistance from Simone Meier in Zurich. Editors: Andrew Rummer, Srinivasan Sivabalan

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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