Stocks in Switzerland Drop for Third Day as Swatch Slides

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) --Swiss stocks fell for a third day after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting signaled the U.S. may reduce stimulus in coming months and a gauge of Chinese manufacturing dropped more than predicted.

Swatch Group AG and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA each declined 1 percent after data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry showed exports to China dropped. Credit Suisse Group AG, the country’s second-biggest bank, lost 0.9 percent. Carlo Gavazzi Holding AG, a maker of electronic equipment including sensors, slid 3.4 percent.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) retreated 0.3 percent to 8,254.19 at 9:48 a.m. in Zurich. 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 also lost 0.3 percent.

Fed officials signaled they may taper their $85 billion in monthly bond buying “in coming months” if the economy improves as anticipated.

Policy makers “generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months,” according to the record of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Oct. 29-30 gathering, released yesterday in Washington.

In China, a manufacturing gauge declined for the first time in four months. The preliminary 50.4 reading for the November Purchasing Managers’ Index (EC11FLAS) released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compared with a 50.8 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The final number for October was 50.9. Levels above 50 indicate expansion.

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

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

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