Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed; UBS, Sonova Shares Fall
Swiss stocks were little changed after the Swiss Market Index reached the highest level in more than two months yesterday, while investors awaited tomorrow’s central-bank policy meetings.
UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest lender, slid 1 percent, following a measure of European banks lower. Sonova Holding AG (SOON), the hearing-aid maker, slipped 1.5 percent, the most in almost a week. Clariant AG (CLN), the world’s biggest maker of printing-ink chemicals, added 0.8 percent.
The SMI (SMI) increased 0.1 percent to 6,201.31 at the close of trading in Zurich, as more than three stocks gained for every one that dropped. The gauge has rallied 4.5 percent this year as the European Central Bank disbursed 1 trillion euros ($1.25 trillion) to financial companies and the region’s leaders opened the door to directly recapitalizing lenders using the European Stability Mechanism. The Swiss Performance Index also added 0.1 percent today.
“Turnover is likely to remain rather low today, with Independence Day in the U.S. and ahead of tomorrow’s interest- rate decisions of the ECB and BOE,” Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland, wrote in a note.
U.S. equity markets are closed for the Independence Day holiday today. The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the SMI was 44 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
ECB officials meeting in Frankfurt tomorrow will lower their benchmark interest rate below 1 percent for the first time to 0.75 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists. They will cut their deposit rate to zero.
The Bank of England will also announce its interest-rate decision tomorrow.
In the U.K., a gauge of services industries based on a survey of purchasing managers fell to 51.3 in June, an eight- month low, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said. That missed the median forecast of 52.9 in a Bloomberg survey of 25 economists. A measure above 50 means that services expanded.
A separate release from Markit today showed euro-area services and manufacturing output contracted for a fifth month in June.
UBS slid 1 percent to 11.15 Swiss francs as a gauge of European banks declined. U.S. regulators released summaries of plans for breaking up nine of the world’s largest banks, including UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG. The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have drawn up the so- called living wills to avoid taxpayers having to bail out lenders in a future financial crisis.
Sonova, the hearing-aid maker, slipped 1.5 percent to 94.50 francs, its biggest retreat since June 28.
Clariant gained 0.8 percent to 9.88 francs.
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