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Swiss Stocks Little Changed; Swiss Re Rises as Transocean Falls

Swiss stocks were little changed after a report showed the U.S. economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual pace in the third quarter.

Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, climbed 1.9 percent as Transocean Ltd., the offshore oil services company, lost 2.5 percent. Daetwyler Holding AG advanced 2.5 percent after winning an order extension from Nestle SA.

The Swiss Market Index of the biggest and most actively traded companies fell 0.1 percent to 6,553.7 at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Zurich. The gauge has risen 0.1 percent this year, trailing the 11 percent increase in the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The broader Swiss Performance Index also declined 0.1 percent to 5,882.47.

“Given the good general mood for equity markets, if you see positive movements from the macro side it will underpin the situation,” said Christoph Riniker, head of strategy research at Julius Baer Group Ltd. in Zurich. “Institutional investors have closed their books already and volumes are trading down.”

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the third quarter, marking a pickup in growth that may extend into 2011 as companies and consumers gain confidence to spend. The revised increase in gross domestic product compares with a 2.5 percent estimate issued last month and was less than the median forecast of a 2.8 percent in a Bloomberg News survey, figures from the Commerce Department showed today.

U.K. Growth

The U.K. economy slowed more than initially estimated in the third quarter after revisions to production, construction and business services. Gross domestic product rose 0.7 percent from the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. That compared with an initial estimate of 0.8 percent, which was also the median forecast of 22 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

Swiss Re advanced 1.9 percent to 51.55 Swiss francs, its third straight gain. The International Association of Insurance Supervisors, which is helping the Financial Stability Board set up a list of insurers considered too big to fail, said reinsurers aid financial stability and don’t create systemic risks. “Far from creating system concerns to financial markets, reinsurers have contributed positively to financial stability,” the Basel-based IAIS said today in an e-mailed statement.

Swiss Re was among the “pan-European conviction ideas” for 2011 mentioned in a note sent to clients today by James Shuck, analyst at Jefferies Group Inc.

Geneva-based Transocean lost 2.5 percent to 65.85 francs. The stock has fallen 32 percent since first listing in Zurich in April and after its Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

Altdorf, Switzerland-based Daetwyler rose 2.5 percent to 77.9 francs after announcing its rubber unit won an order extension worth 200 million francs ($210 million) from Nestle’s Nespresso business. The extension runs until 2015, the company said today.

Leclanche SA, the maker of batteries for the Swiss army, surged 4.3 percent to 29.3 francs after saying it raised 31.3 million francs in a share sale to fund growth, exceeding its target of 25 million francs.

Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA., an Italian biotechnology company, added 3.5 percent to 5.6 francs after raising 3.5 million francs through a private placement to Great Point Partners LLC.

Swissmetal Holding AG tumbled 17 percent to 6.92 francs, the biggest drop since 2004. The world’s largest maker of ballpoint pen tips said it anticipates “negative operating results” of about 10 million to 14 million francs for the current year.

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