Stocks in Switzerland Advance as Richemont, Novartis Gain

Swiss stocks advanced for the third time in four days as Cie. Financiere Richemont SA posted profit that beat forecasts and Novartis AG (NOVN) said its lung-disease drug met its objective in a study.

Richemont, the owner of the Cartier brand, jumped the most since early January as full-year net income jumped about 30 percent. Novartis rose 1 percent. DKSH Holding AG fell 1.2 percent as HSBC Holdings Plc gave it a rating similar to sell.

The Swiss Market Index gained 0.7 percent to 7,661.11 at 10 a.m. in Zurich. The benchmark gauge dropped 1.8 percent last week as economic reports from the U.S., China and Germany missed forecasts. The measure has still rallied 12 percent so far this year. The broader Swiss Performance Index also climbed 0.6 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 43 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Richemont (CFR) advanced 5.7 percent to 72.05 Swiss francs, contributing the most to gains on the SMI. Net income growth in the year through March beat analysts’ average estimate of a 25 percent increase. Operating profit rose about 18 percent, matching projections.

Swatch Group AG (UHR), the biggest maker of Swiss watches, climbed 1.5 percent to 519 francs. Swiss watch exports rose 0.6 percent in March after a 2.5 percent drop the previous month.

Novartis climbed 1 percent to 68.25 francs. The drugmaker said a study showed its once-daily QVA149 drug improved lung function and quality of life in patients of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Georg Fischer AG (FI/N), the maker of auto parts and piping systems, rose 1.9 percent to 387.75 francs. The company won an order for truck parts worth more than 380 million francs ($405 million).

DKSH (DKSH) fell 1.2 percent to 83.50 francs after HSBC started coverage of the company with an underweight rating. HSBC set its 12-month price estimate for the marketing and services company at 50 francs, citing pressure on profit margins and the likelihood of increased competition in Asia.

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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