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Swiss Stocks Close Little Changed; Swiss Life Gains, UBS Drops

Updated on

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s benchmark Swiss Market Index closed little changed as a rally by Swiss Life Holding AG offset losses at Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG.

The SMI of the biggest and most actively traded companies gained 3.14, or less than 0.1 percent, to 6,362.88 at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Zurich. The broader Swiss Performance Index climbed 0.1 percent to 5,619.67.

Shares of Holcim Ltd., Roche Holding AG and Adecco SA have paced an 8.7 percent slump in the SMI from this year’s highest level on April 15 amid concern the global economic recovery is slowing. The gauge dropped last week after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy’s recovery is likely to be “more modest” than forecast.

“The market is already pricing in the expectation of a slowdown,” said Piers Hillier, who manages $12 billion as the chief investment officer of Liverpool Victoria Asset management in London. “There’s value out there and people will eventually say: I’ll take a little bit more risk to generate that return,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Start Up with Maryam Nemazee.”

UBS, the biggest Swiss bank by assets, lost 1.1 percent to 17.47 Swiss francs, while Credit Suisse, the second largest, retreated 0.8 percent to 46.93 francs.

Swiss Life surged 7.9 to 110.1 francs after Switzerland’s biggest life insurer reported first-half profit that topped analysts’ estimates. Net income rose to 268 million francs ($257 million), from 142 million francs a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said. That beat the 219 million-franc average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net.

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

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