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Swiss Stocks Decline, Following Last Week’s Retreat

Swiss stocks dropped, following last week’s decline when the benchmark Swiss Market Index posted its first weekly drop in more than a month.

Holcim Ltd. posted the worst performance on the equity gauge. SGS SA, the world’s largest product inspector, retreated for a fourth day. Transocean Ltd., the world’s biggest supplier of offshore oil rigs, advanced 2.6 percent.

The SMI lost 0.1 percent to 8,163.05 at the close in Zurich, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 0.3 percent. The gauge declined 1.4 percent last week, falling for the first time in five weeks. The equity benchmark has still rallied 20 percent in 2013 as central banks around the world continued their asset-buying programs. The Swiss Performance Index also slipped 0.1 percent today.

“Trading will probably remain rather subdued today, as there will be no trading in London and the U.S. due to holidays and no major economic data is scheduled on either side of the Atlantic,” Alessandro Fezzi, senior market strategist at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich, wrote in an e-mail. “After the corporate earnings season came to an end, investors will focus on more economic evidence.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 53 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Markets in the U.K. and the U.S. are closed today.

Economic Releases

In the euro area, unemployment data scheduled for May 31 will show that joblessness rose to 12.2 percent in April, according to the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A Swiss economic release on May 30 will probably show that gross domestic product increased 0.2 percent in the first quarter.

Economic indicators will “determine how long central banks will have to support the economy with their monetary stimuli -- the key for a continued bullish momentum in equity markets,” Fezzi wrote.

Holcim, the world’s largest cement maker, retreated 1.1 percent to 74.80 Swiss francs.

SGS declined 0.9 percent to 2,167 francs. Kuehne & Nagel International AG, the world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder, lost 1 percent to 107 francs.

Transocean increased 2.6 percent to 50.65 francs, snapping four days of losses.

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