Swiss Stocks Increase; Syngenta, Schmolz & Bickenbach Advance

Swiss stocks climbed, rebounding from yesterday’s biggest drop in a month, as chemicals and basic-materials companies advanced.

Syngenta AG, the Basel, Switzerland-based pesticides maker, added 1 percent. Schmolz & Bickenbach AG, a steel producer, surged 6.3 percent, the largest gain this year.

The Swiss Market Index of the biggest and most actively traded companies advanced 0.6 percent to 6,535.24 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich. The gauge has rallied 8.5 percent since March 16 as company earnings exceeded estimates and the U.S. central reserve pledged to keep interest rates low. The broader Swiss Performance Index also increased 0.6 percent today.

“We still think markets will go up,” said Thomas Haerter, chief strategist at Swisscanto Asset Management AG in Zurich, which manages about $14 billion in equities. “It takes a lot for the economy not to grow when interest rates are so low. At the end of the month we’ll buy more equities.”

Syngenta gained 1 percent to 290.4 Swiss francs after introducing a new seed treatment fungicide based on the active ingredient sedaxane.

Givaudan SA, a maker of flavors and fragrances, increased 1.1 percent to 930 francs. The stock has still fallen 11 percent since its high last year on Dec. 8.

Schmolz & Bickenbach advanced 6.3 percent to 11 francs after three days of losses.

Bucher Industries AG rose 0.8 percent to 207.6 francs. The agricultural machinery maker said its Kuhn Group unit has a licensing and manufacturing agreement with Deere & Co. to cooperate on large square balers.

“The strategic cooperation with the world’s leading farm equipment producer underpins Kuhn’s product and manufacturing strengths in farming,” Fabian Haecki, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG, wrote in a note to clients today.

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