Swiss stocks fell, posting their biggest three-day loss since August, as the U.S. government shutdown entered its ninth day without an end in sight to the deadlock over fiscal spending and the debt limit.
Syngenta AG (SYNN) and Actelion Ltd. (ATLN) lost at least 1 percent each, for the worst performances on the benchmark Swiss Market Index. Tecan Group AG (TECN) dropped 5 percent after the maker of laboratory equipment lowered its sales forecast for 2013.
The SMI (SMI) slipped 0.6 percent to 7,780.55 at 10:02 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge has retreated 3 percent so far this month as U.S. lawmakers failed to approve an emergency federal budget, partially closing the government. The broader Swiss Performance Index decreased 0.6 percent today.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies today was 9.7 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
President Barack Obama said yesterday that the U.S. economy risks a “very deep recession” if Congress fails to raise the government’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. He insisted that he wouldn’t negotiate against the threat of default or a government shutdown, though he was willing to consider a short-term debt-ceiling increase without conditions.
Obama spoke as Senate Democrats started setting up a test vote for later this week on a plan that would push the next debt-limit fight into 2015.
The Treasury has said that it will exhaust measures to avoid exceeding the borrowing limit on Oct. 17. If that happens, the government will run out of cash to pay all of its bills at some point between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Separately, Obama will nominate Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve in an announcement at 3 p.m. today, a White House official said in an e-mailed statement. Yellen, 67, would succeed Ben S. Bernanke, whose term expires on Jan. 31.
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