Stocks in Switzerland Decline Before U.S. Jobs Data

Swiss stocks declined, dragging the benchmark Swiss Market Index lower for the third time in four days, as investors awaited reports on U.S. jobless-benefit claims and home sales.

The SMI (SMI) fell 0.4 percent to 8,022.03 at 9:25 a.m. in Zurich. The equity benchmark has still climbed 3.6 percent this month, extending its gain this quarter to 4.4 percent, as the Federal Reserve refrained from reducing its monthly bond purchases. The gauge has rallied 18 percent so far in 2013, the third-best performance by a European developed market. The Swiss Performance Index also slipped 0.3 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies today was 18 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A U.S. Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will show initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 325,000 last week from 309,000 the previous period, according to the median estimate of 49 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Separate data from the National Association of Realtors may show its index of pending home sales in the world’s largest economy fell 1 percent last month from July, when it slid 1.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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