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Swiss Stocks Gain Amid U.S. Indicator, Sentiment Data

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Switzerland rose in the final minutes of trading as U.S. leading indicator and consumer sentiment reports beat forecasts.

Sonova Holding AG gained 1.2 percent after Deutsche Bank AG upgraded its recommendation on the shares. Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG both rose 1.7 percent. SGS SA, the world’s biggest product inspector, led declining stocks on the benchmark Swiss Market Index, slipping 3.3 percent, after industry peer Intertek Group said profit at its mineral business will continue to fall.

The SMI rose 0.3 percent to 8,280.25 at the close of trading in Zurich, for a weekly advance of 1.3 percent. The equity benchmark lost 0.7 percent yesterday as Zurich Insurance Group AG reported earnings that missed analysts’ estimates and U.S. jobless claims increased more than forecast. The gauge has still risen 21 percent so far this year as central banks around the world maintained monetary stimulus. The Swiss Performance Index also added 0.3 percent today.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 12 percent higher than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The index of U.S. leading indicators climbed more than expected in April. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 0.6 percent after falling a revised 0.2 percent in March that was steeper than previously reported, the New York-based group said today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent increase.

U.S. Sentiment

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 in May from 76.4 the prior month, a separate report today showed. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey was for a gain to 77.9.

In the U.S., Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said quickening economic growth and an improving job market may prompt the Fed to begin to reduce its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases in the next few months.

Williams was one of the first Fed officials to advocate that the Fed buy bonds without setting a time limit or total for such purchases. He doesn’t vote on policy this year.

Sonova, the hearing-aid maker, gained 1.2 percent to 104.60 Swiss francs. The stock was upgraded to hold from sell at Deutsche Bank.

UBS and Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s largest lenders, climbed 1.7 percent to 17.82 francs and 1.7 percent to 29.25 francs, respectively.

U-blox AG rose 1.6 percent to 54.50 francs, its highest price since November 2010. The maker of positioning-system chips agreed to work with Intel Corp. to make smaller 3G modems.

SGS lost 3.3 percent to 2,225 Swiss francs. Intertek fell after the consumer-goods testing company said that its operating-profit margin has narrowed from a year earlier as net income at its minerals unit declined. Profit at the minerals business will continue to drop into the second half of the year, the company forecast.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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