Stocks in Switzerland Are Little Changed; Roche Advances
Swiss stocks were little changed, with one stock rising for each declining, as investors awaited a two-day summit of European Union leaders this week.
Roche Holding AG led advancing shares after saying it won’t license a drug from Biotie Therapies Oyj. Adecco gained 3 percent after announcing a share-buyback program. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) slipped 2.5 percent after Reuters said the lender may fire some senior employees.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) advanced 0.2 percent to 5,957.72 at the close of trade in Zurich, having earlier lost as much as 0.4 percent as demand dropped at a Spanish debt sale. The benchmark measure has gained 4.3 percent from its 2012 low on June 4 as Greece formed a coalition government after its second election in six weeks. The gauge has gained 0.4 percent in the first six months of the year. The Swiss Performance Index added 0.1 percent today.
“The EU summit at the end of this week will be absolutely key in determining the amount of pressure Spain finds itself under,” Richard McGuire, senior fixed-income strategist at Rabobank International, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “If we don’t get much in the way of traction at the summit, Spanish yields will come under significant pressure and rapidly raise the prospect that the country will need additional bailouts.”
Spain’s borrowing costs rose as the country sold 3.08 billion euros ($3.85 billion) of bills today. Demand for the three-month securities was 2.6 times the amount sold, compared with 3.95 times in May, according to the Treasury in Madrid. The bid-to-cover ratio for the six-month bills was 2.82 compared with 4.3.
The European Union would obtain the power to revise the budgets of euro-area countries that break fiscal rules, according to the draft of a document that will be discussed at a summit of the 27-member club on June 28 and 29. The Financial Times reported that the draft also discusses steps toward banking and political union for countries using the euro.
A gauge of Swiss consumer demand declined in May, according to UBS AG. The consumption indicator, which signals developments about three months ahead, slipped to 1.05 from 1.37 in April, the Zurich-based lender said in an e-mailed statement today.
Roche gained 1.6 percent to 162.70 Swiss francs after Biotie said the Basel, Switzerland-based drug maker decided not to exercise a one-time option to license its experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease due to “strategic portfolio reasons.”
Adecco (ADEN) advanced 3 percent to 38.40 francs after saying it plans to buy back shares of as much as 400 million euros, canceling the stock around mid-July. The buyback will be funded in the debt market, Adecco said.
Syngenta AG (SYNN) gained 2.5 percent to 315.80 francs after the company said earnings from 2010 onwards were in line with previously stated figures after adopting a new segment reporting system.
Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, retreated 2.5 percent to 17.03 Swiss francs after Reuters reported the lender may cut 60 directors, up to a third of its senior staff, at its European investment banking unit in July, citing three people familiar with the matter.
UBS AG, the country’s largest bank, fell 2.1 percent to 10.82 francs. A gauge of banks was the fourth-worst performer of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
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