Swiss Stocks Pare Gains on German Unemployment Data
Swiss stocks were little changed, even as the benchmark index headed for its longest streak of monthly gains since 2006, as earnings at UBS AG and Geberit AG (GEBN) beat estimates, offsetting an increase in German unemployment.
UBS, the country’s largest lender, advanced to the highest in almost 23 months, after posting first-quarter net income that was more than double the average forecast. Geberit climbed for a sixth day, its longest rally in 15 months.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) added less than 0.1 percent to 7,904.76 at the 10:08 a.m. in Zurich. The equity benchmark has rallied 1.2 percent in April, its eighth consecutive month of gains, as the Swiss franc depreciated against the euro and investors bet that central banks will maintain economic stimulus. The broader Swiss Performance Index was also little changed today.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was almost three times the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
German unemployment rose for a second month in April, data showed. The number of people out of work climbed a seasonally adjusted 4,000 to 2.94 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said. Economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted an increase of 2,000. The adjusted jobless rate held at 6.9 percent, just above a two-decade low of 6.8 percent.
UBS (UBSN) gained 5 percent to 16.49 francs, its highest price since June 1, 2011. The lender reported first-quarter net income of 988 million Swiss francs ($1.05 billion) on higher revenues at the investment bank and in wealth management. That surpassed the 412.3 million-franc average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Geberit gained 1 percent to 228.60 francs. The Swiss maker of toilets and bathroom piping posted first-quarter profit and sales that beat forecasts on growth in the Middle East and Africa. Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 137 million francs, while sales increased to 582.6 million francs. The average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for Ebit of 130 million francs and revenue of 577 million francs.
Straumann Holding AG (STMN) slid 1.5 percent to 121.50 francs. The world’s largest maker of dental implants reported a 6 percent drop in first-quarter sales to 175 million francs and said it plans to cut 200 jobs by the end of the year.
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