Swiss stocks were little changed, after the Swiss Market Index (SMI) yesterday snapped the longest losing streak in 15 months, as investors awaited data on euro-area consumer confidence and American home sales.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA lost 0.4 percent, posting the worst performance on the benchmark index. Flughafen Zuerich AG, the operator of the Zurich airport, fell 1.2 percent. Bachem Holding AG and Meyer Burger Technology AG both advanced more than 3 percent.
The SMI added less than 0.2 percent to 8,000.99 at 10:04 a.m. in Zurich. The measure has still surged 17 percent this year, driving its valuation to 15.2 times estimated earnings, compared with an average of 13.2 times over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Swiss Performance Index gained 0.2 percent today.
“After yesterday’s rally, investors are taking a breather,” said Daniel Rotzer, an investment adviser at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich. “With September approaching, market participants are probably expecting some higher volatility as we are going to face several key events and catalysts next month, such as the September” Federal Open Market Committee meeting, he said.
Swiss stocks rallied for the first time in six days yesterday as manufacturing in the euro area and China grew more than forecast. The gauge posted the biggest jump in almost three weeks.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 21 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
European Commission data at 4 p.m. in Brussels may show euro-area consumer sentiment rose to the highest level in two years in August. An index of household confidence increased to minus 16.5 from 17.4 in July, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
A U.S. Commerce Department report released at the same time may show new-home sales in the world’s biggest economy declined in July. Purchases dropped 2 percent to an annualized pace of 487,000 houses, from a 497,000 rate a month earlier, economists predicted. The June figure was the highest since May 2008.
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