Swiss stocks fell for a second day, the first back-to-back declines this month, as Nestle SA retreated after reporting slower growth in sales.
Nestle slid 2.1 percent as the world’s largest food company reported the slowest first-half revenue growth in four years. Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, dropped 1.7 percent after posting the first quarterly underwriting loss since 2011. Adecco SA, the largest provider of temporary workers, jumped 3.1 percent.
The Swiss Market Index slipped 48.78 points, 0.6 percent to 7,927.5 at 9:36 a.m. in Zurich, as Nestle’s decline removed 35.7 points. The equity benchmark rallied 2.1 percent last week as the European Central Bank said interest rates will remain low for an extended period and the Federal Reserve kept its monthly bond purchases unchanged. The broader Swiss Performance Index lost 0.5 percent today.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 29 percent higher than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Fed Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto said yesterday there has been “meaningful improvement” in the labor market and that tapering may be warranted if it continues to strengthen. Fed policy makers are weighing data to determine whether the economy has improved enough to begin reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
U.S. initial jobless claims rose to 335,000 last week from 326,000 in the previous period, economists predicted before a Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington.
In China, a report showed that exports and imports rebounded more than estimated in July. Exports rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing today. That compares with the median estimate for a 2 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey and June’s 3.1 percent drop. Imports rose 10.9 percent.