Swiss stocks advanced to a two-week high as Chinese industrial production and retail sales exceeded forecasts and the U.S. said it would postpone plans for a strike on Syria if the nation surrenders its chemical weapons.
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) added 2.8 percent after Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan told the Financial Times that Switzerland’s second-biggest bank is aiming for lower though more sustainable returns. Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN) gained 2.4 percent. Partners Group Holding AG (PGHN) tumbled 5.7 percent after the money manager reported results.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) rose 1.1 percent to 8,024.21 at 10:49 a.m. in Zurich, the highest since Aug. 26. The gauge has still lost 4.6 percent since May 22 as the Federal Reserve said it may pare bond purchases if the economy improves sustainably. The broader Swiss Performance Index surged 1.1 percent today.
“The recent data out of China has been signaling a bit of a recovery,” Mark Harris, a London-based fund manager at City Financial, which has $1.2 billion under management, said in a interview. “You’re beginning to see traction globally. This is an opportunity to buy cyclical stocks even though I do expect some sort of a contained pull-back this year and volatility may pick up.”
China’s industrial output rose 10.4 percent in August from a year earlier and retail sales gained 13.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The advance in industrial production topped the median estimate for 9.9 percent growth in a Bloomberg survey. The retail-sales figure compared with a projection for 13.3 percent advance.
U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview with NBC News he isn’t confident that he’ll get congressional approval for a military strike against Syria. Obama, who will address Americans on the matter tonight, said a Russian proposal to convince Syria to give up its chemical weapons is a “potentially positive development,” while expressing skepticism on whether President Bashar al-Assad’s government will follow through.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 49 percent higher than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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