Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed Before ECB Rate Decision

Swiss stocks were little changed, after posting their biggest two-day drop in three months, before interest-rate decisions from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

Geberit AG (GEBN) fell 0.9 percent after Citigroup Inc. designated the maker of toilets and plumbing a least-favored stock. Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN) added 1.4 percent after Switzerland’s biggest insurer said it is on track to reach some of its 2010 to 2013 targets.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) fell less than 0.1 percent to 8,045.37 at 9:45 a.m. in Zurich. The benchmark has still climbed 18 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. The Swiss Performance Index also lost less than 0.1 percent today.

ECB President Mario Draghi releases inflation and growth projections today at the central bank’s first meeting since the Governing Council cut interest rates to a record low.

Officials will keep the benchmark rate unchanged this time, according to every economist in a Bloomberg News survey. Policy makers will announce their decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt. Draghi will host a press conference, setting out the forecasts, 45 minutes later.

The Bank of England will announce its interest-rate decision at 12 p.m. in London. The central bank will leave its benchmark rate at a record low and its bond-buying program unchanged, separate surveys show.

Tomorrow’s U.S. payrolls report may help investors gauge the outlook for stimulus. The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Dec. 17-18 to consider changes to its $85 billion of monthly bond buying. Officials said at their Oct. 29-30 meeting that they may slow their asset purchases if the economy improves as forecast.

Gains in manufacturing, technology and housing fueled “modest to moderate” economic growth from early October through mid-November, the Fed said in its Beige Book survey released after the close of European markets yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net

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

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