Swiss stocks were little changed, after the benchmark Swiss Market Index (SMI) posted the longest losing streak in 11 weeks, as investors awaited the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting.
Basilea Pharmaceutica (BSLN) AG advanced 1.2 percent after the biotechnology company’s first-half net loss narrowed. Adecco SA (ADEN) climbed 0.6 percent after Bryan Garnier & Co. upgraded its recommendation for the world’s largest provider of temporary workers. Charles Voegele Holding AG (VCH) declined 2.3 percent.
The SMI slipped 0.1 percent to 7,930.9 at 9:23 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge has gained 16 percent this year, driving its valuation to 15.2 times estimated earnings, compared with an average of 13 times over the past three years. The broader Swiss Performance Index was also little changed today.
Investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 30-31 meeting for signs of when the Fed will begin to reduce the $85 billion pace of monthly bond purchases. The U.S. central bank will start to scale back bond buying next month, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg from Aug. 9-13. The median estimate called for purchases to drop to $75 billion a month.
The Fed has said the U.S. economy must improve in line with its forecasts for tapering to take place. A report at 10 a.m. in Washington will show existing house sales rose 1.4 percent to an annualized 5.15 million pace in July, according to the median forecast of 75 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
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