Stocks in Switzerland advanced, with the benchmark Swiss Market Index heading for its ninth consecutive monthly gain, as the economy grew more than forecast and investors awaited U.S. property and growth data.
The SMI (SMI) added 0.3 percent to 8,055.57 at 12:47 p.m. in Zurich, heading for a monthly gain of 1.9 percent. The index has surged about 26 percent since the end of August 2012 as central banks around the world continued their asset-buying programs. The broader Swiss Performance Index also rose 0.3 percent today.
Swiss stocks slumped yesterday as concern mounted that the Federal Reserve will begin to scale back its program of bond purchases when the U.S. economy strengthens.
Switzerland’s economy expanded more than expected in the first quarter. Gross domestic product rose 0.6 percent from the fourth quarter, when it advanced by a revised 0.3 percent, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said today. Economists expected a rise of 0.2 quarter-on-quarter, according to the median prediction in a Bloomberg survey.
In the U.S., a report at 10 a.m. New York time may show an index of pending home sales increased 1.5 percent in April, matching the gain the prior month, according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
Separately, the Commerce Department will release revised data at 8:30 a.m. that may show the U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, the same as estimated last month.
Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, gained 2.3 percent to 28.48 Swiss francs.
Julius Baer Group Ltd. climbed 0.8 percent to 38.11 francs. Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager is seeking to resolve a tax dispute with the U.S this year with an “affordable” settlement, Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi said.
Sulzer lost 1 percent to 161.60 francs, the lowest price in three weeks.
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