Stocks in Switzerland tumbled to a one-month low as Italy and Spain’s borrowing costs jumped and a U.S. report showed that employers in the world’s largest economy added fewer jobs in March than forecast.
Adecco SA (ADEN), the world’s biggest supplier of temporary workers, dropped 4.2 percent on the first day of Zurich trading after the U.S. Labor Department’s April 6 release. UBS AG (UBSN) and Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland’s largest lenders, declined more than 3.5 percent. Lonza Group AG (LONN), the world’s biggest maker of drug ingredients, slid to its lowest price since at least 1999.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI), a measure of Switzerland’s largest and most actively traded companies, lost 1.7 percent to 6,061.43 at the close in Zurich, its lowest level since March 6. The gauge, which was closed yesterday and on April 6 for Easter, has retreated for three straight weeks as borrowing costs rose in Spain and the Federal Reserve indicated it will hold off from making further asset purchases. The broader Swiss Performance Index also fell 1.7 percent today.
“The U.S. employment data from Friday were a clear disappointment,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The market is already waiting for U.S. companies’ quarterly results this week. Better-than-expected numbers could reassure the markets again. But if they disappoint, the correction is probably going to continue.”
The number of shares changing hands on the SMI today was 22 percent higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
U.S. Employment Data
On April 6, when European markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday, a Labor Department report showed employers in the U.S. added 120,000 jobs in March, down from a revised 240,000 gain in February and short of the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.
Adecco fell 4.2 percent to 44.14 Swiss francs after the U.S. jobs report.
A gauge of banks contributed the most to the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s tumble today. UBS and Credit Suisse slid 5 percent to 11.53 francs, the most since Oct. 31, and 3.6 percent to 23.79 francs, respectively. Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN), Switzerland’s largest life insurer, declined 3.4 percent to 102.20 francs and Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, retreated 1.1 percent to 56.40 francs.
Lonza slid 3.5 percent to 42.55 francs, the lowest price since at least 1999. NZZ am Sonntag reported that the company doesn’t plan to cut a large number of jobs as part of a cost-reduction program. The newspaper cited Chairman Rolf Soiron.
Roche Holding AG (ROG) declined 1.7 percent to 154.90 francs. The drugmaker said it’s willing to study “additional value” in its bid for Illumina Inc. after a proxy-advisory firm recommended that the target company’s shareholders reject the hostile offer.
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