Swiss stocks declined, paring the biggest monthly advance since July 2009, as jobless-benefit claims in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, increased more than forecast.
UBS AG (UBSN) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Switzerland’s largest banks, slipped after Deutsche Bank AG posted a bigger quarterly loss than estimated. Bucher Industries AG (BUCN) climbed 1.8 percent after the world’s biggest maker of wine presses said sales and profitability will increase in 2013.
The Swiss Marker Index (SMI) retreated 0.2 percent to 7,372.74 at 2:36 p.m. in Zurich. The gauge has still advanced 8.1 percent in January, the best start to the year since the SMI was formed in 1988, as the Swiss franc weakened against the euro and U.S. lawmakers agreed on a compromise budget. The broader Swiss Performance Index also fell 0.2 percent today.
“The Swiss equity market seems to be in a moderate consolidating phase after a strong start to the year,” said Alessandro Fezzi, senior market analyst at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich. “We see some downward pressure in financials, with UBS and Credit Suisse down after Deutsche Bank disappointed.”
In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose by 38,000 in the week ended Jan. 26 to 368,000, the Labor Department reported today. Economists had forecast 350,000 filings, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Another report tomorrow may show employers added 165,000 workers to payrolls in January, after a 155,000 increase a month earlier, a separate survey of economists showed.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 6.6 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
The SMI may lose 5.4 percent in the next two weeks if it fails to break above the 7,518.47 level, according to Ouri Mimran, a technical strategist at Natixis in Paris. The resistance represents the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the decline from June 2007 through March 2009 during the financial crisis.
“The SMI is approaching a barrier that could hold in the coming sessions,” Mimran said. “A technical correction could take place. We’re targeting 6,990, which represents the April 2010 high. It’s also not far from the 50 percent retracement level of 6,891.”
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