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Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed; UBS Gains as Lonza Shares Drop

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Swiss stocks ended little changed as gains by UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG offset a decline in Lonza Group AG.

UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s largest banks, advanced as rival Deutsche Bank AG posted better-than-estimated results. Lonza fell 2.6 percent after its chief executive officer warned a stronger franc will hurt sales.

The benchmark Swiss Market Index of the biggest and most actively traded companies rose less than 0.1 percent to 6,479.21 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich. The SMI has gained 9 percent since its low this year on July 5 on speculation policy makers in the U.S. and elsewhere will step up efforts to stimulate economic growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index fell 0.1 percent today.

UBS rose 0.5 percent to 16.84 francs. The stock tumbled 5 percent yesterday after the company reported a surprise loss at its investment-banking unit. The stock was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse today.

“We are seeing a rebound from technical support levels around 16.5 francs to 16.25 francs for UBS,” said Fernando Espinosa, a money manager at Interbrokers Espanola de Valores in Barcelona. “But clearly Deutsche Bank’s earnings are helping sentiment in the sector.”

Business Outlook

Deutsche Bank Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause said the company is “very positive” after being asked in a conference call for an outlook on fourth-quarter business and trading conditions. Germany’s biggest bank reported a third-quarter loss that was smaller than estimated as higher profit at the investment bank cushioned a writedown on its Deutsche Postbank AG stake.

Credit Suisse gained 1 percent to 41.11 francs.

Lonza lost 2.6 percent to 86 francs, the biggest retreat since July 16. A stronger franc is having an increasing negative impact on sales and will be an “ongoing challenge,” CEO Stefan Borgas said in a conference call.

Vontobel Holding AG declined 1.8 percent to 33.55 francs. Chief Executive Officer Herbert Scheidt said third-quarter profit growth at the Swiss bank was weaker than in the first half, according to an interview in Handelszeitung.

Swissquote Group Holding AG jumped 6 percent to 45.1 francs, its best performance in more than a year. The provider of online financial services said it bought ACM Advanced Currency Markets AG, a trader of foreign exchange with about 100 employees.

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