Swiss stocks pared their advance as investors awaited a monetary-policy decision from the European Central Bank and as the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy continued to grow at a “modest to moderate pace.”
Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) increased 2.2 percent, posting its longest winning streak in eight weeks, after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the stock. UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG each climbed at least 1 percent.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) added 0.1 percent to 7,888.82 at 10:55 a.m. in Zurich, paring a gain of as much as 0.8 percent. The equity benchmark has rallied 16 percent so far this year, the third-best performance of 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, as the economy of the 17-nation euro area returned to growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index also gained 0.1 percent today.
“For once, the pressure has been quite limited on the ECB to do anything,” Philipp Baertschi, chief investment officer for private clients at Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG in Zurich, told Anna Edwards on Bloomberg Television. “They’re quite pleased with the recovery starting now, with Europe coming out of recession. We see a broadening of the global recovery starting in the U.S.”
ECB policy makers meeting today will probably leave their benchmark interest rate unchanged at a low of 0.5 percent, according to all 56 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The ECB will announce its interest-rate decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt and President Mario Draghi will hold a press conference 45 minutes later.
The U.S. economy, the world’s largest, continued to grow from early July through late August, even as borrowing costs increased, the Fed said in its Beige Book survey of economic conditions. Increased spending on cars and housing helped the U.S. economy maintain the pace of expansion, the report said.
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