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Most Swiss Stocks Decline as Swiss Re, Holcim Shares Retreat

Updated on

Most Swiss stocks declined as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faced a confidence vote and the Group of 20 failed to agree on increasing the resources of the International Monetary Fund.

Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, and Julius Baer Group Ltd. led a drop in financial shares. Holcim Ltd., the second-largest cement maker, retreated 1.4 percent.

The Swiss Market Index, a measure of the biggest and most actively traded companies, fell 0.2 percent to 5,659.83 at the close in Zurich, as two stocks declined for each that rose. The gauge retreated 3.3 percent this week as Papandreou announced and then abandoned a referendum on Greece’s latest bailout after Germany and France said a vote against the plan would cost Greece its membership of the euro. The broader Swiss Performance Index also decreased 0.2 percent today.

“There’s a lack of visibility,” said Yves Marcais, a sales trader at Global Equities in Paris. “We sense something taking form for Greece, but don’t know how it will unfold. The market will wait and see.”

Global policy makers will wait for further details on the increased rescue package before they commit fresh cash to the IMF, Merkel said at the end of the G-20 summit in Cannes, France. The IMF could lend any additional money to the European Financial Stability Facility, the currency bloc’s rescue fund.

U.S. Jobs

A report today showed the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a six-month low of 9 percent in October, from 9.1 percent in September. Employers added 80,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, fewer than economists had forecast. The Labor Department revised up job gains in the previous two months by 102,000.

Swiss Re sank 1.7 percent to 48.15 Swiss francs and Julius Baer declined 1.9 percent to 33.50 francs. Credit Suisse Group AG, the nation’s second-largest bank, retreated 1.4 percent to 23.18 francs.

Holcim lost 1.4 percent to 52.90 francs, snapping a two-day advance.

Kudelski SA, the world’s largest maker of security cards for pay television, advanced 2.9 percent to 10.50 francs. Exane BNP Paribas lifted its price forecast for the shares by 7.7 percent to 7 francs.

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