Stocks in Switzerland Rise Before Start of U.S. Earnings

Swiss stocks rose, after two weeks of gains, before Alcoa Inc. kicks off the U.S. earnings season and euro-area finance ministers meet in Brussels.

Transocean Ltd. paced gains on the Swiss Market Index (SMI), climbing 2 percent. Cie Financiere Richemont SA added 2 percent after Barclays Plc forecast an improvement in second-half European luxury sales. Charles Voegele Holding AG (VCH) fell to its lowest price since at least 1999 as Tages-Anzeiger reported it would keep businesses in profitable markets and sell the rest.

The SMI advanced 1.1 percent to 7,867.11 at 10:06 a.m. in Zurich. The index gained 1.3 percent last week as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England said interest rates will remain low for an extended period of time. The broader Swiss Performance Index also added 1.1 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 25 percent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Euro-area finance ministers discuss Greece’s progress in meeting the conditions needed to obtain further aid from the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, ECB and European Commission. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the Greek government will probably reach a deal with international creditors before today’s Eurogroup meeting.

In Germany, a report at 12 p.m. Frankfurt time may show that industrial production declined 0.5 percent in May, according to the median forecast of 38 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It surged 1.8 percent in April.

Alcoa Results

Alcoa Inc. will unofficially start the second-quarter U.S. earnings season after the market closes today, when the biggest U.S. aluminum producer becomes the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report results.

Transocean, the world’s largest supplier of offshore oil rigs, rose 2 percent to 46.44 Swiss francs.

Richemont (CFR), the owner of the Cartier brand, gained 2 percent to 86.15 francs. Barclays forecast a pickup in second-half luxury sales in Europe, with strong sales in the U.S., and Japan a positive surprise.

Swatch Group AG, the largest maker of Swiss timepieces, added 2.1 percent to 541 francs.

Charles Voegele slid 5.8 percent to 7.49 francs, its fourth day of losses. The Swiss clothing retailer will keep businesses in profitable markets including Switzerland and Austria and sell the rest, Tages-Anzeiger reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Zehnder Group AG (ZEH) tumbled 6.8 percent to 39.55 francs. The maker of radiators and ventilation systems forecast full-year sales at the same level as 2012 and a drop in operating profit as poor winter weather delayed construction projects.

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