Swiss Stocks Decline as SMI Retreats for a Second Day

Swiss stocks declined, after posting the biggest weekly gain in a month, as Nestle SA (NESN) traded without the right to its latest dividend and investors awaited a report on manufacturing in the New York Area.

Kuehne & Nagel (KNIN) International AG advanced after the world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder said first-quarter profit almost doubled. Roche Holding AG (ROG), the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, climbed 1.3 percent, while Novartis added 1.1 percent.

The SMI fell 0.3 percent to 7,734.41 at 10 a.m. in Zurich. The measure has still rallied 13 percent this year as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a compromise budget and data on housing and jobs fueled optimism the world’s biggest economy is recovering. The broader Swiss Performance Index climbed 0.3 percent today.

In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. local time may show that manufacturing in the New York region expanded for a third month in April. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index slowed to 7 this month from 9.24 in March, economists forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Readings greater than zero mean that activity increased.

In China, gross domestic product rose 7.7 percent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing. That compared with the 8 percent median forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey and 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter. The country’s industrial production increased in March at a slower pace than economists’ had estimated, while retail-sales growth matched forecasts.

Nestle Ex-Dividend

Nestle, which accounts for almost 23 percent of weight in the SMI (SMI), shaved almost 55 points off the gauge as the shares traded without the right to their latest dividend. Adjusting for the lost dividend, the shares rose 0.5 percent to 65.70 francs on a comparable basis.

Kuehne & Nagel jumped 3.7 percent to 109.50 francs after saying as profit almost doubled as air freight and contract logistics units benefited from measures to raise profitability at the company.

First-quarter net income rose to 132 million francs ($142 million) from 67 million francs in the first three months last year. Revenue rose 5.4 percent to 5.09 billion francs.

Roche climbed 1.3 percent to 227.90 francs. The world’s largest maker of cancer drugs entered into a collaboration with Ascletis Inc. to develop and commercialize Roche’s investigational drug danoprevir in China for the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus.

Novartis rose 1.1 percent to 68.55 francs. A gauge of European health-care companies posted the second-best performance of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Burkhalter Holding AG (BRKN) rose 4.3 percent to 330 francs after Switzerland’s biggest electrical installations company said full-year earnings per share amounted to 22.63 francs. the company also expressed optimism over its prospects for 2013.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the SMI today was 1.9 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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