Swiss Stocks Little Changed as Geberit Rises on Earnings

Swiss stocks were little changed, with the Swiss Market Index heading for a second monthly gain, as Geberit AG (GEBN) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Geberit rose 4.3 percent as the maker of toilets and plumbing also confirmed its full-year forecasts for sales and profitability. Novartis AG (NOVN) fell, for the biggest drag on the SMI, (SMI) as a gauge of European health-care companies declined.

The SMI retreated less than 0.1 percent to 8,225.74 at 10 a.m. in Zurich. The equity benchmark has climbed 2.5 percent this month as U.S. lawmakers agreed to increase the federal government’s debt limit and end a partial shutdown. The broader Swiss Performance Index slipped 0.1 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 24 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the U.S. yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee refrained from reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases. The policy makers dropped their warning from last month’s meeting that “the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months -- if sustained -- could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market”.

The Fed will probably wait until its March meeting to begin slowing its monthly asset purchases, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before the Oct. 29-30 meeting. The 16-day shutdown of the U.S. government earlier this month will probably reduce annualized economic growth in the fourth quarter by 0.3 percentage points, according to the survey, which was conducted on Oct. 17-18.

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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