Swiss stocks advanced after U.S. employment climbed more than forecast and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest in three years.
Kudelski SA led industrial shares higher, while UBS AG (UBSN) paced gains in financial shares. Temenos Group AG (TEMN) rallied 16 percent after Misys Plc said the software companies have discussed a merger.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI), a measure of Switzerland’s biggest and most actively traded companies, climbed 1.5 percent to 6,153.31 at the close of trading in Zurich. The benchmark gauge has advanced 2 percent this week and 3.7 percent this year as investors speculated that the euro area will contain its sovereign-debt crisis. The broader Swiss Performance Index rose 1.4 percent today.
“With employment taking off, investors feel more like buying cyclical shares,” said Arnaud Scarpaci, a fund manager at Agilis Gestion SA in Paris, referring to companies whose earnings are most tied to economic growth. “The market was waiting for this.” Agilis Gestion oversees about $84 million.
The 243,000 increase in U.S. payrolls was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.
The jump in employment was broad-based, including manufacturing, construction, temporary help agencies, accounting firms, restaurants and retailers. The number of industries showing job gains climbed to 64.1 in January from 62.4 a month earlier.
Kudelski (KUD), the world’s largest maker of security cards for pay television, soared 6.8 percent to 8.54 Swiss francs. Rieter Holding AG (RIEN), a manufacturer of spinning systems and chemical fiber systems, jumped 5.6 percent to 183.50 francs.
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, rallied 3.5 percent to 13.45 francs. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), the second-largest, advanced 2.7 percent to 25.71 francs.
Temenos surged 16 percent to 19.90 francs for the biggest rally on the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Misys said it has held “preliminary discussions” with Temenos about a “possible strategic combination to be effected by way of an all-share merger.”
Petroplus Holdings AG climbed 6.3 percent to 1.18 francs, extending its rally over the last six days to 638 percent. Private equity firm Goldsmith Group said one of its funds is considering buying all five refineries owned by Petroplus, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported.
Europe’s largest independent refiner tumbled 83 percent last week after filing for insolvency.
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