Swiss Stocks Decline Before U.S. Retail, Home Sales Data

Most Swiss stocks slipped, after falling the most in three weeks yesterday, as investors awaited reports on U.S. retail and housing data to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy before minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

Givaudan SA (GIVN) declined 1.1 percent for the biggest drop in the Swiss Market Index. Swatch Group AG climbed as much as 1.2 percent after Cantor Fitzgerald LP raised its stock-price estimate by 8.3 percent on the maker of $50 colorful namesake watches and $5,000 Omega timepieces.

The SMI (SMI) lost 0.1 percent to 8,289.72 at 9:59 a.m. in Zurich, with 16 of its 20 stocks falling. The measure has still surged 21 percent this year, heading for the biggest annual rally since 2005, as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period. The Swiss Performance Index slid 0.2 percent today.

In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show retail sales rose 0.1 percent in October, having dropped 0.1 percent a month earlier, economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey. A separate release will probably show sales of previously owned homes fell to a 5.14 million annual pace, from a 5.29 million rate a month earlier.

The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its October policy meeting after European markets close today. The document will reveal more details on the central bank’s decision to maintain its pace of asset purchases at $85 billion a month. Fed policy makers will probably trim the bond-buying to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Inyoung Hwang in London at ihwang7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net

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