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Stocks in Switzerland Decline for Fourth Day as UBS Drops

Swiss stocks retreated for a fourth day, the longest stretch of losses in 11 weeks, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will start reducing its monthly bond-buying program as the U.S. economy heals.

UBS AG (UBSN) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), the country’s largest lenders, retreated more than 1.5 percent. Swatch Group AG and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA dropped at least 0.9 percent. Lindt & Spruengli AG (LISN) climbed 1.9 percent as the world’s largest maker of premium chocolate reported earnings that beat analyst estimates. Straumann Holding AG (STMN) rallied 4.4 percent after first-half profit gained.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) fell 0.6 percent to 7,893.54 at 9:20 a.m. in Zurich, the lowest level in almost three weeks. The gauge has still gained 16 percent this year, driving its valuation to 15.1 times estimated earnings, compared with an average of 13 times over the past three years. The broader Swiss Performance Index also lost 0.6 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 47 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 30-31 meeting are due to be released tomorrow. They may give indications of when the central bank will begin to reduce its $85 billion pace of monthly bond purchases. The FOMC holds its next meeting on Sept. 17-18.

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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