Most stocks in Switzerland declined as comments by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that a bailout for the country isn’t imminent overshadowed better-than-estimated U.S. jobs and services data.
Syngenta AG paced losses in the Swiss Market Index, falling 1.6 percent, as rival Monsanto Co.’s earnings forecast trailed analyst estimates. Julius Baer Group Ltd. dropped 1.9 percent. Swiss Re Ltd. led gains, rising 1.7 percent.
The benchmark SMI fell 0.1 percent to 6,604.44 at the close of trading in Zurich, as more than two shares decreased for each one that climbed. The gauge dropped 1.7 percent last week amid concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest round of bond buying will fail to encourage economic growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index retreated 0.2 percent today.
“Comments made by Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy after yesterday’s close that there are no plans for requesting aid in the near future have proven to be a setback for those who had hoped that uncertainty concerning Spain would finally be coming to an end,” Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London, wrote in e-mailed comments.
Spain has no plans to ask for a bailout soon, Rajoy said late yesterday, in response to mounting speculation that a request was imminent.
In the U.S., a report from Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Employer Services showed companies added 162,000 workers to payrolls in September. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 advance.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. non-manufacturing businesses, which covers about 90 percent of the economy, rose to 55.1 in September from the prior month’s 53.7, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 53.4.
China’s non-manufacturing industries expanded at a pace slower than any previous reading compiled by Bloomberg News starting March 2011. The purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.7 in September from 56.3 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in Beijing. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
The volume of shares in SMI-listed companies changing hands was 22 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Syngenta, the world’s largest agrochemical company, dropped 1.6 percent to 353 Swiss francs, the biggest decline since August. Profit for fiscal 2013, which began Sept. 1, will be $4.18 to $4.32 a share, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in a statement. The average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for earnings of $4.38.
Julius Baer, the Swiss wealth manager established in 1890, declined 1.9 percent to 32.79 francs.
Richemont, the maker of Chloe bags and Dunhill briefcases, retreated 1.2 percent to 57.95 francs. Swatch Group AG, the biggest maker of Swiss watches, fell 1.3 percent to 379.60 francs.
Implenia AG, a Swiss builder, dropped 1.3 percent to 38.80 francs as Helvea SA downgraded the stock to accumulate from buy.
Swiss Re, the second-biggest reinsurer, advanced 1.7 percent to 64.20 francs, its third day of gains.