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Swiss Stocks Fall as BOE Officials Drop Stimulus Calls

Swiss stocks declined for a second day, erasing an earlier advance, as Bank of England policy makers dropped their calls for more bond purchases to stimulate the economy.

SGS SA fell 2.1 percent after the world’s largest product inspector reported lower-than-estimated first-half profit. Givaudan SA slipped 2.2 percent after analysts at Barclays Plc downgraded the biggest maker of flavorings.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) dropped 0.7 percent to 7,877.93 at 12:25 p.m. in Zurich. The gauge has still rallied 2.6 percent this month amid optimism that economic data and corporate earnings will improve. The broader Swiss Performance Index also declined 0.7 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 12 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

At Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s debut decision, the Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep the target of its bond-purchase program at 375 billion pounds ($566 billion), as Paul Fisher and David Miles dropped their call for more stimulus. All nine members also wanted to keep the key interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent, according to the minutes of their July 3-4 meeting published today.

In the U.S., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will begin his two-day semi-annual monetary-policy report to Congress today. He may face questions from lawmakers on how quickly the central bank plans to scale back its monthly asset purchases. U.S. equity benchmarks rose to records and European stocks rallied last week after the Fed chairman said that the U.S. economy will continue to need stimulus measures.

SGS Slips

Geneva-based SGS, which sells verification and testing services for industries from agriculture to finance and mining, fell 2.1 percent to 2,091 Swiss francs. The company reported net income rose 10 percent to 265 million francs ($281 million), missing the 296 million-franc average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Givaudan (GIVN) slipped 2.2 percent to 1,267 francs. Barclays cut the stock to underweight, the equivalent of sell, from equal weight, saying so-called defensive shares are expensive and have little room to rise.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nandini Sukumar in London at nsukumar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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