Swiss Stocks Advance as U.K. Economy Grows, Nobel Gains

Swiss stocks advanced as data showed the U.K. economy avoided a triple-dip recession, offsetting worse-than-estimated results from Logitech (LOGN) International SA.

Nobel Biocare Holding AG rallied to its highest price since June as profit beat analysts’ estimates. Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) and Geberit AG (GEBN) climbed more than 1 percent, following European construction companies higher. Logitech, the world’s largest maker of computer mice, sank the most in three months after posting a quarterly loss.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) rose 0.3 percent to 7,881.96 at 4:15 p.m. in Zurich. The equity benchmark completed the largest two- day gain since Jan. 4 yesterday as investors bet the European Central Bank will lower interest rates next week. The gauge has rallied 16 percent this year. The broader Swiss Performance Index added 0.4 percent today.

“The financial markets are focusing on the quarterly reports of numerous companies today,” said Alessandro Fezzi, senior market analyst at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich. “Results were rather mixed, which is reflected in the share price movements today. Investors are waiting for tomorrow’s U.S. GDP data.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 8 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Britain’s economy avoided a triple-dip recession in the first quarter with expansion that exceeded economists’ forecasts. Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the period, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of 37 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for 0.1 percent growth.

Nobel, Holcim

Nobel Biocare (NOBN) surged 8.4 percent to 10.30 francs. The world’s second-biggest maker of dental implants reported first- quarter net income of 13.3 million euros beat the average analyst estimate that called for 11.7 million euros.

Holcim, the world’s largest cement maker, gained 2.1 percent to 71.85 francs, while Geberit, a manufacturer of toilets and bathroom piping, added 1.1 percent to 225.10 francs. Sika AG (SIK) climbed 1.6 percent to 2,240 francs. A gauge of European construction companies posted the fourth-biggest gain of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Logitech fell 6.5 percent to 6.36 francs after reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $36 million, compared with a net income of $28 million a year earlier.

“Logitech remains a construction site with restructuring continuing and repositioning in progress,” Michael Foeth, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG, wrote in a note to clients today. “We remain on the sidelines.”

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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