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Swiss Stocks Are Little Changed as U.S. Retail Sales Rise

Swiss stocks were little changed, with the benchmark Swiss Market Index posting a weekly advance, as investors weighed U.S. retail sales data to gauge the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy.

Credit Suisse Group AG slipped 1.5 percent, halting a four-day rally, as a gauge of European lenders declined. Geberit AG climbed 1.1 percent after Mainfirst upgraded the stock. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA rebounded 1.4 percent to post a gain for the week.

The SMI added 0.1 percent to 8,038.31 at the close of trading in Zurich. The measure has surged 18 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. It added 1.1 percent this week. The broader Swiss Performance Index also gained 0.1 percent today.

“It looks like we’ll see some tapering next week,” Georgios Tsapouris, investment strategist at Coutts & Co. in London, told Anna Edwards and Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television. “Taper light, potentially, but we might get surprised and that uncertainty is what is being priced in the markets. You don’t know how much it’s going to be, or when it’s going to be.”

U.S. retail sales rose at a slower pace in August, according to figures from the Commerce Department. Purchases climbed 0.2 percent after increasing a revised 0.4 percent in July, missing the median economist projection of a 0.2 percent gain for last month.

Fed Meeting

The report is one of the last pieces of data before the Federal Reserve meets on Sept. 17-18 to discuss whether to reduce the pace of its monthly bond purchases. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has said that the central bank may consider slowing stimulus measures if the economy continues to grow in line with its forecasts.

Credit Suisse slipped 1.5 percent to 28.45 Swiss francs, following the Stoxx 600 Banks Index lower. The lender still gained 2.7 percent this week.

Geberit rose 1.1 percent to 241 francs after Mainfirst upgraded its rating on the maker of toilets to outperform, similar to a buy recommendation, from underperform.

Richemont, the world’s largest jewelry maker, rose 1.4 percent to 92.60 francs.

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