Wacker Chemie AG, the German chemical maker that turns 100 this year, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates on higher demand for polysilicon, a material used in solar panels.
European stocks fell, following a third week of gains for the region’s equities, as violence intensified in eastern Ukraine, while a report showed Chinese manufacturing contracted for a fourth month.
German stocks fell, dragging the benchmark DAX Index from an all-time high, as stronger-than- forecast U.S. manufacturing growth fueled speculation the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus.
The polysilicon industry is headed for its biggest boom since a price war started three years ago. It can thank a burst of solar-panel orders in China and Japan.
Wacker Chemie AG, Europe’s largest producer of polysilicon, jumped the most in five months after the spot price for the substance climbed to the highest since October 2012.
Wacker Chemie AG, the German chemical maker that turns 100 this year, expects operating profit to gain more than 10 percent in 2014 on a recovery in prices and an agreement with China on polysilicon exports.
German stocks advanced, with the benchmark DAX Index rebounding from a seven-week low, as companies from Daimler AG to Wacker Chemie AG reported fourth- quarter profit that exceeded estimates.
German stocks were little changed, after their largest two-day gain in eight months, as investors weighed U.S. data on economic growth, jobless-benefit claims and home sales.