Swiss Stocks Advance for Fourth Day as Swiss Life Jumps

Swiss stocks rose for a fourth day, extending an 11-week high, as second-quarter gross domestic product in Germany and France topped economists’ forecasts.

Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN), Switzerland’s biggest life insurer, rallied 4.3 percent after first-half profit climbed 30 percent. Novartis AG (NOVN) climbed for a fourth day as Chairman Joerg Reinhardt said the drugmaker will start a strategic review of its units as early as next week and would consider a $10 billion purchase among options for bolstering the business.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) advanced 0.3 percent to 8,062.44 at 9:15 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge has surged 18 percent this year as central banks around the world maintained stimulus measures. It climbed last week as better-than-forecast economic data in Europe and China outweighed concern that the Federal Reserve will reduce the pace of its bond-purchase program. The broader Swiss Performance Index also added 0.3 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI companies was 20 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The German economy expanded more than economists predicted in the second quarter. GDP rose 0.7 percent from the first quarter, when it stagnated, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.6 percent, according to the median of 47 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The French economy grew a more-than-anticipated 0.5 percent in the second quarter, separate data showed.

A report at 11 a.m. Zurich time may show that GDP (GRGDPPGQ) in the 17-nation euro region expanded 0.2 percent in the three months through June after shrinking for the previous six quarters, according to the median forecast of 41 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

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

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