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Swiss Stocks Extend Nine-Month High; Credit Suisse Gains

Swiss stocks advanced for a sixth day, extending a nine-month high for the nation’s benchmark gauge, led by a rally in banks after the Federal Reserve said the majority of U.S lenders passed stress tests.

Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest lenders, jumped at least 2 percent. Zurich Financial Services AG increased 2.7 percent as the insurer said its board of directors will propose Josef Ackermann as chairman.

The Swiss Market Index rose 0.7 percent to 6,300.43 at the close in Zurich as the volume of shares traded increased by 31 percent from the average over the past 30 days. The gauge has gained 6.1 percent this year after the European Central Bank boosted lending to the region’s banks. The broader Swiss Performance Index climbed 0.6 percent today.

“The main factor helping banks today is the U.S. stress tests which went relatively OK -- U.S. banks seem relatively robust,” said Manoj Ladwa, a senior trader at ETX Capital in London. “Everyone is looking to the U.S. as it seems to be the strongest western economy. So if they are doing well, it’s naturally going to filter through to Europe.”

A gauge of European banks gained 1.5 percent after the Fed said 15 of 19 U.S. banks would be able to maintain capital levels above a regulatory minimum in an “extremely adverse” economic scenario. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo joined banks raising dividends and authorizing share repurchases after passing the stress tests.

Citigroup Inc., the lender that took the most government aid during the financial crisis, said it will resubmit its capital plan to regulators after failing to meet some minimum standards in the tests.

Credit Suisse, UBS

Credit Suisse and UBS advanced 5 percent to 26.30 Swiss francs and 2 percent to 13.02 francs, respectively.

Zurich Financial rose 2.7 percent to 240.3 francs. Switzerland’s biggest insurer said after the close of trading yesterday that the board will propose Vice Chairman Ackermann as chairman after he steps down as chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG.

Dufry AG climbed 2.7 percent to 115 francs after the operator of duty-free shops reported full-year sales of 3.04 billion francs ($3.3 billion) that topped the average analyst estimate of 2.66 billion francs. Full-year profit of 111.9 million Swiss francs trailed forecasts for 116.2 million francs.

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