Swiss stocks advanced for a second day after reports on U.S. durable-goods orders and existing house sales exceeded economists’ estimates.
The SMI advanced 0.7 percent to 5,996.53 at the close in Zurich. The benchmark measure has gained 5 percent from its 2012 low on June 4 as Greece formed a coalition government after its second election in six weeks. The gauge has risen 1 percent in the first six months of this year. The Swiss Performance Index also added 0.7 percent today.
“As it is quite difficult to get any positive signs from the European Union nowadays, better-than-expected U.S. durable-goods and housing data have helped to push European markets higher today,” said George Satlas, head of investments at TT ELTA Mutual Funds Management SA in Athens.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 6.7 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and European Commission President Jose Barroso have prepared a 10-year road map for the euro area, which they will present to the summit tomorrow.
A senior member of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union said today that the 17 countries using the single currency must agree to share control over their budgets before the euro area’s largest economy will agree to share responsibility for their debts.
In China, a newspaper said that the world’s second-biggest economy may introduce “more proactive” policies to ensure stable growth. Separately, the official Xinhua News Agency said China will promote alliances between the mainland markets and Hong Kong and increase cooperation in investments overseas and in infrastructure. The government will encourage joint ventures between the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock bourses and their Hong Kong counterpart, and allow the listing of exchange-traded funds in both places, the agency said.
In the U.S., durable-goods orders climbed more than economists had estimated. A Commerce Department report showed that bookings increased 1.1 percent, compared with the median projection of 76 economists in a Bloomberg News survey for a 0.5 percent gain.
Another report showed more Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned houses. An index of pending house sales rose 5.9 percent in May, after dropping 5.5 percent a month earlier, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists had predicted a 1.5 percent increase, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
Adecco, the world’s largest supplier of temporary workers, advanced 5.7 percent to 40.57 Swiss francs.
Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER), the Swiss wealth manager established in 1890, rose 4.4 percent to 33.75 francs, snapping a two-day decline. UBS AG (UBSN) gained 2.1 percent to 11.05 francs. A gauge of bank stocks was the best performer of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Von Roll, a maker of wire insulation and transformers, increased 1.6 percent to 1.88 francs as Vontobel raised the stock to hold from reduce.
Swiss Re gained 1.7 percent to 58.70 francs. Global insurance premiums may rebound this year after they dropped in 2011 because of lower sales of life policies in western Europe, China and India, Switzerland’s biggest reinsurer said. Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN) added 1.5 percent to 207.80 francs.
Actelion Ltd. (ATLN), Switzerland’s largest biotechnology company, fell 2.2 percent to 38.36 francs, the biggest drop on the SMI.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at email@example.com