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Swiss Stocks Advance on U.S. Spending, Pending Home Sales

Swiss stocks rose for a third day, the longest winning streak in five weeks, as U.S. reports showed consumer spending increased and pending home sales jumped more than forecast in May.

Roche Holding AG, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, contributed the most to gains in the benchmark Swiss Market Index as Bank of America Corp. recommended the shares. Transocean Ltd., the largest supplier of offshore oil rigs, advanced 1.8 percent.

The SMI climbed 1.6 percent to 7,671.70 at the close of trading in Zurich, heading for its first weekly rally since May 17. The gauge is still poised for a decline of 3.5 percent in June, the biggest monthly drop since May 2012, as the Federal Reserve said it may pare stimulus measures if the U.S. economy improves in line with its projections. The broader Swiss Performance Index added 1.5 percent today.

“The focus is still on the U.S. economy to figure out when the Fed may start tapering,” said Mark Andersen, who helps oversee $1.7 trillion as head of asset allocation at UBS AG in Zurich. “We are coming to the conclusion that the real economic impact from the sharp rise in yields we’ve seen on a global basis is likely to be limited, and with the recent stabilization, markets could rebound with better U.S. economic data prints.”

The SMI has slid 1.8 percent this quarter, trimming its 2013 gain to 12.5 percent. The volume of shares changing hands today was 9.8 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. Economy

In the U.S., more Americans signed contracts last month to buy previously owned homes than at any time in more than six years. The index of pending home sales jumped 6.7 percent to 112.3, the highest since December 2006, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. That exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and was the biggest since April 2010.

Separate data showed personal spending increased 0.3 percent last month, after a revised 0.3 percent drop in April, matching the median forecast of 83 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Initial jobless-benefit claims decreased by 9,000 to 346,000 last week, Labor Department figures showed.

European Union finance chiefs struck an agreement on how to handle failing banks. In seven hours of emergency negotiations in Brussels that concluded at about 1:30 a.m. today, ministers finalized guidelines for assigning losses to private creditors and regulating public assistance.

Roche, Actelion

Roche gained 3.4 percent to 235.70 Swiss francs after Bank of America added the stock to its Europe 1 list, saying Roche’s current valuation offers a buying opportunity.

Actelion Ltd. advanced 2.9 percent to 56.70 francs. A gauge of health-care companies was among the best performers of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Novartis AG jumped 1.7 percent to 66.65 francs.

Transocean climbed 1.8 percent to 45.52 francs as West Texas Intermediate crude rose for a fourth day.

DKSH Holding AG, which advises businesses on how to grow in Asia, increased 3.4 percent to 76.75 francs. Berenberg Bank AG raised its recommendation for the stock to hold from sell, saying trading conditions have remained good.

Carlo Gavazzi Holding AG rallied 7 percent to 230 francs, its highest price since July 2011, as the electronic-component maker proposed an extraordinary dividend.

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