Swiss Stocks Little Changed as Bernanke Prepares for Seco

Swiss stocks were little changed as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke prepared for a second day of testimony to U.S. Congress.

SGS SA (SGSN) declined as analysts including Barclays Plc cut price targets a day after the company posted a smaller increase in first-half profit than expected because of restructuring costs in Europe and a decline in earnings at its minerals business. Swatch Group AG gained after a trade group said Swiss watch exports will increase this year.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) rose 0.2 percent to 7,941.01 in Zurich. The broader Swiss Performance Index gained 0.1 percent to 7,497.64 today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 44 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bernanke delivers his second day of semi-annual testimony to Congress on monetary policy today, facing questions from the Senate Banking Committee. Yesterday he said that the pace of the economic recovery will determine when the U.S. central bank starts reducing its asset purchases.

SGS, the world’s largest product inspector, fell 1.5 percent to 2,106 francs, dropping for a second consecutive day. Barclays cut its price target to 2,450 francs from 2,500 francs.

Swatch, the world’s biggest watchmaker, rose 0.9 percent to 535.50 francs. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry today said growth “is still the order of the day, but on a more measured basis than in the previous years.”

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

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

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