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Swiss Stocks Retreat Before U.S. Data; Julius Baer Falls

Swiss stocks retreated for a second day, as investors awaited U.S. jobs data this week to gauge the timing of a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus.

Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) lost 2.2 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its recommendation on Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager. Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG declined at least 0.9 percent. Basilea Pharmaceutica AG added 0.7 percent after its isavuconazole treatment received U.S. designation as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) slipped 0.3 percent to 8,234.80 at 9:29 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge climbed 0.4 percent in November, extending this year’s gains to 21 percent as central banks around the world pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged period to support the economic recovery. The broader Swiss Performance Index slid 0.3 percent today.

Stocks in Switzerland were little changed yesterday after a measure of Spanish manufacturing unexpectedly contracted, while a U.S. factory index increased.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls data for November, scheduled for Dec. 6, may show the unemployment rate slipped to 7.2 percent, matching the lowest level in five years. Tomorrow’s private jobs report will probably show U.S. employers added the most workers since June. The Federal Reserve has said it will monitor labor-market gains before deciding when to pare its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases.

The U.S. central bank will provide its Beige Book report on economic conditions in the world’s largest economy tomorrow, two weeks before the Federal Open Market Committee meets on Dec. 17-18. to consider changes to monetary stimulus. Fed policy makers will probably pare the monthly pace of bond buying to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median of 32 estimates in Bloomberg’s most recent survey of economists conducted on Nov. 8.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will give policy decisions on Dec. 5.

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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