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Swiss Stocks Decline, Led by UBS, Credit Suisse, Adecco

Updated on

June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Switzerland fell, sending the Swiss Market Index to a weekly decline, after U.S. jobs data missed forecasts and Hungary said its economy is in a “very grave” situation, sparking a selloff in the region’s banks.

UBS AG lost 4.6 percent and Credit Suisse Group AG fell 3.9 percent. Adecco fell 3 percent. Coltene Holding AG climbed 1.7 percent after Bank Vontobel AG suggested investors buy shares of the Swiss dental product and equipment company. Meyer Burger Technology AG gained 1.8 percent after winning a new order.

The Swiss Market Index, a gauge of the biggest and most actively traded companies, lost 119.85, or 1.9 percent, to 6,298.97. The SMI, which has lost 0.4 percent this week, is down 9.6 percent from this year’s high on April 15 amid concern that European nations will have difficulties reducing their budget deficits without harming the economic recovery. The broader Swiss Performance Index retreated 1.6 percent to 5,545.77 today.

“The news flow from Hungary spurred sell orders on bank stocks across Europe,” said Alessandro Valentinis, head of trading at Cassa Lombarda in Milan.

Hungary’s economy is in a “very grave situation” because the previous government manipulated figures and lied about the state of the economy, said Peter Szijjarto, a spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Credit-default swaps on Hungarian government debt rose to 371 basis points from yesterday’s close of 308, according to CMA DataVision prices.

U.S. Jobs

U.S. payrolls rose by 431,000 last month, including a 411,000 jump in government hiring of temporary workers for the 2010 census, Labor Department figures in Washington showed today. Economists projected a 536,000 gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. yesterday raised its prediction to 600,000.

UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s biggest banks, fell 4.6 percent to 14.65 francs and 3.9 percent to 42.9 francs, respectively. Julius Baer Group Ltd., a 120-year-old private bank, slipped 2.6 percent to 32.73 francs. Swiss Life Holding AG, the country’s biggest life insurer, retreated 3.6 percent to 118.7 francs.

Adecco, the biggest supplier of temporary workers, fell 3 percent to 53.75 francs.

Coltene advanced 1.7 percent to 57.45 francs. Vontobel upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold.” The brokerage said in a note today that “Coltene is more a value than a growth play with a strong balance sheet, stable single-digit sales growth and EBIT margins in the teens, strong cash generation and a high payout ratio culminating in a dividend yield of above 5 percent.”

Meyer Burger advanced 1.8 percent to 25.75 francs. The maker of industrial cutting equipment won an order worth more than 25 million francs ($21.7 million) with a new customer in China.

APEN AG rose 3.9 percent to 17.4 francs. Christian Wenger has revoked his intention to step down from Apen Ltd.’s board and will stand for re-election at the June 7 annual shareholders meeting, the Swiss investment company said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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