Swiss stocks were little changed, with the benchmark Swiss Market Index heading for the biggest weekly gain in eight weeks, as investors awaited a report on U.S. payrolls to gauge the outlook for Federal Reserve stimulus.
Sonova Holding AG (SOON) jumped 3.5 percent after UBS AG recommended buying shares in the maker of hearing aids. Clariant AG advanced as Nomura Holdings Inc. upgraded its recommendation on the stock. Schindler Holding AG added 1 percent.
The SMI (SMI) fell 0.1 percent to 7,923.61 at 9:36 a.m. in Zurich. The index 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 retreated 0.1 percent today.
The SMI has gained 2.3 percent so far this week as the European Central Bank said it will maintain its accommodative monetary policy and as Chinese manufacturing in August surpassed estimates.
In the U.S., a Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show that employers added more workers in August. Payrolls climbed by 180,000 last month, compared with 162,000 in July, according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The jobless rate probably held at a more than four-year low, economists said.
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