Stocks in Switzerland advanced, paring weekly losses, as China’s economy slowed down for a sixth quarter, fueling speculation policy makers will add to stimulus measures.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA led gains, adding 3.7 percent. Adecco SA rose 2.6 percent after Morgan Stanley predicted a short-term price increase. Ems-Chemie Holding AG climbed 1.2 percent after the Swiss supplier of resins to General Motors Co. raised its 2012 sales and profit forecast.
The Swiss Market Index climbed 0.6 percent to 6,181.81 in Zurich, and closed little changed for the week. The benchmark gauge has rallied 8.2 percent since its 2012 low on June 4 as Greek leaders formed a government and global central banks added stimulus to boost growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index added 0.5 percent today.
“They’ve got a lot of scope for just conventional measures intended to stimulate demand,” Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. in London, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Caroline Hyde. “I think with the determination of the Chinese to do that we are going to see some modest pickup in momentum in the second-half of the year.”
China’s growth slowed for a sixth quarter to the weakest pace since the global financial crisis, putting pressure on Premier Wen Jiabao to boost stimulus to secure a second-half economic rebound.
Gross domestic product expanded 7.6 percent last quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The pace, a three-year low, compares with an 8.1 percent gain in the previous period and the 7.7 percent median forecast of economists. Industrial production increased at a slower pace in June while retail sales growth decelerated.
Italian borrowing costs fell at an auction today. The nation sold 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) of new three-year bonds, matching a maximum target, and auctioned 1.75 billion euros of three longer-dated securities. The Rome-based Treasury sold the 2015 bond at 4.65 percent, down from the 5.3 percent paid on a similar-maturity bond on June 14.
Richemont gained 3.7 percent to 50.20 Swiss francs. Swatch Group AG, the world’s largest watchmaker, rose 1.3 percent to 351.10 francs.
Adecco SA, the world’s largest supplier of temporary workers, advanced 2.6 percent to 41.41 francs. Morgan Stanley said the stock has the potential to “move materially” over the next 15 to 60 days on financial results or news flow.
Ems-Chemie climbed 1.2 percent to 180 francs. The company said this year’s net sales and operating profit will be “slightly above” the figures for 2011. That compares with a forecast in April that revenue and earnings wouldn’t grow.
The company also posted first-half earnings before interest and taxes that rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier to 167 million Swiss francs ($169.7 million), beating the 158 million-franc average in a Bloomberg survey.
Swisscom AG, Switzlerland’s biggest telephone company, gained 1.5 percent to 383.40 francs while Transocean Ltd., the owner of deepwater oil rigs, gained 2.9 percent to 44.92 francs.
Temenos Group AG surged 5.9 percent to 10.85 francs, rebounding from a 28 percent slump yesterday. The banking-software maker had fallen the most in 3 1/2 years after cutting its revenue-growth forecast and saying its chief executive officer will step down.
BB Biotech AG gained 7.4 percent to 88 francs, the highest since September 2008. The company rejected an offer from Vontobel Holding AG to restructure the Swiss biotechnology investor from its current status as a listed-investment company into an unlisted investment fund, according to a statement from BB Biotech.
Sika AG, Europe’s biggest maker of chemicals used in construction, slid 4.1 percent to 1,770 francs. The stock was cut to hold from buy at Vontobel Holding AG.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 32 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.