German stocks were little changed near a two-week high as growth in China, the world’s second biggest economy, accelerated for the first time in two years.
Commerzbank AG (CBK) advanced 1.2 percent as a gauge of banking shares in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) rose. Metro AG (MEO), Germany’s largest retailer, fell 2 percent as Credit Suisse AG downgraded its recommendation on the stock.
The DAX rose less than 0.1 percent to 7,738.48 at 9:58 a.m. in Frankfurt, heading for a weekly gain of 0.3 percent. The gauge has added 1.6 percent so far this year as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a compromise budget to prevent most scheduled tax increases and delay spending cuts. The broader HDAX Index rose 0.1 percent today.
“China’s economic growth is definitely a boost for Germany,” Christian Schmidt, a market analyst at Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “But at the moment we are just seeing range trading.”
The volume of shares changing hands on the DAX (DAX) was 3.7 percent higher than the average of the last 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Growth in China accelerated as government efforts to revive demand drove a rebound in industrial output, retail sales and the housing market.
Gross domestic product rose 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today. That compared with the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey and 7.4 percent in the previous period. Industrial output in December rose a more-than- expected 10.3 percent and fixed-asset investment for the year gained 20.6 percent.
Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest lender, climbed 1.2 percent to 1.68 euros.
Aixtron SE, a technology company that manufactures equipment for the semiconductor industry, jumped 1.7 percent to 10.49 euros. The stock has surged 18 percent so far this year.
Japanese semiconductor-equipment makers also rallied after Intel Corp., the world’s biggest chipmaker, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., the largest producer of contract producer chips, announced plans to raise capital spending this year.
RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s second biggest utility, fell 0.9 percent to 29.07 euros as a gauge of utility companies dropped the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
Metro lost 2 percent to 23.02 euros as Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to underperform, the equivalent of a sell rating, from neutral.
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