Swiss stocks declined from an 18-month high as German business confidence unexpectedly dropped and concern grew that efforts by euro-area leaders to tackle the region’s debt crisis are stalling.
UBS AG and Credit Suisse AG led the retreat, falling at least 1 percent. DKSH Holding Ltd. slid 2.4 percent as UBS managed the sale of shares on behalf of members of senior management. Transocean Ltd. gained for a fourth day, advancing 3.1 percent.
The Swiss Market Index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,597.22 at the close of trading in Zurich, after earlier dropping as much as 0.5 percent. The equity benchmark closed at the highest level since March 1 last week after European Central Bank policy makers agreed to implement an unlimited bond-buying program and the Federal Reserve unveiled a third round of asset purchases. The broader Swiss Performance Index lost 0.2 percent today.
“The week started quietly on the economic front, with only German Ifo sentiment data out, and that showing continued nervousness in the euro zone’s strongest pillar,” Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG in London, wrote in e-mailed comments.
Business confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, unexpectedly fell for a fifth straight month in September. The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, dropped to 101.4 from 102.3 in August. That’s the lowest reading since February 2010. Economists predicted an increase to 102.5, according to the median of 37 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande clashed over the weekend on when to start joint oversight of the euro area’s banking industry. Merkel rebuffed Hollande’s appeal to activate oversight of the banking union “the earlier, the better.” Deadlock over regulation may delay a key building block in resolving the single currency’s debt crisis.
In China, manufacturers and retailers are less optimistic about sales than they were three months ago and are cutting jobs, according to a survey by New York-based researcher CBB International LLC. The findings build on data indicating that manufacturing, trade and retail sales slowed in the third quarter, pointing to a seventh straight deceleration in growth and potentially the weakest annual expansion in 22 years.
UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s two largest banks, declined 1.1 percent to 12.03 Swiss francs and 2 percent to 21.17 francs, respectively.
Adecco SA, the world’s largest supplier of temporary workers, slid 1.2 percent to 47.60 francs.
Geberit AG, the Swiss maker of toilets and bathroom piping systems, dropped 1.3 percent to 206.10 francs.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the maker of Chloe bags and Dunhill briefcases, slid 1.2 percent to 58.95 francs, declining for a third day.
Aryzta AG, a supplier of bakery products to restaurants, retreated 3 percent to 46.25 francs. The company forecast revenue growth of 5 percent to 10 percent in fiscal 2013, compared with 8.5 percent expansion this year, and said “we have no great expectation of any recovery in consumer behavior.”
DKSH, a Swiss company that helps clients expand in Asian markets, declined 2.4 percent to 56.3 francs, the biggest drop in three months. UBS is selling about 523,000 shares on behalf of members of senior management, according to the terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. The shares have still climbed 10 percent since the company’s initial public offering in March.
Transocean, the owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, increased 3.1 percent to 44.75 francs for the longest winning streak in two months.