Swiss stocks climbed for a second day after Alcoa Inc. unofficially kicked off the U.S. earnings season by reporting first-quarter profit that beat estimates.
Holcim Ltd. (HOLN), the world’s largest cement maker, posted the best performance on the benchmark index. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and UBS AG (UBSN) followed a gauge of European banks higher. Adecco SA, the biggest supplier of temporary workers, dropped to the lowest price since Jan. 16 after Credit Suisse downgraded its recommendation for the stock.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) rose 0.5 percent to 7,726.79 at 9:43 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge slid 2.2 percent last week as data on U.S. jobs and services industries signaled that the rebound in the world’s largest economy has slowed. The broader Swiss Performance Index gained 0.4 percent today.
Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, late yesterday posted first-quarter earnings excluding an income-tax benefit and other one-time items of 11 cents a share, beating the 8 cent-average analyst forecast. Earnings at companies in the S&P 500 Index may drop 1.8 percent in the first quarter, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The number of shares changing hands in companies on the SMI was 34 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
German exports in February fell more than economists forecast, a report showed. Overseas shipments, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, dropped 1.5 percent from January, when they gained 1.3 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. Economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast a 0.3 percent decline.
Holcim climbed 1.6 percent to 72.65 Swiss francs, posting the best performance on the SMI.
Credit Suisse and UBS, Switzerland’s largest lenders, advanced 1.9 percent to 24.80 francs and 1.3 percent to 14.30 francs, respectively. A gauge of European banks was the second- best performer among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Adecco (ADEN) lost 2.7 percent to 49.06 francs after Credit Suisse cut the stock to neutral from outperform, meaning investors may not buy any more shares of the company.
Sonova Holding AG (SOON) declined 2.5 percent to 109.50 francs after Hendrik Lofruthe, an analyst at HSBC Holdings Plc, cut the stock to neutral from overweight.
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