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Swiss Stocks Little Changed as Investors Await Fed Policy

Swiss stocks were little changed as investors awaited news from a two-day policy-setting meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Geberit AG and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the world’s largest jewelry maker, led losses on the benchmark Swiss Market Index, while Holcim Ltd. advanced.

The SMI retreated 0.2 percent to 8,014.47 at the close of trading in Zurich. The measure has still surged 17 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period. The broader Swiss Performance Index also dropped 0.2 percent today.

“The fact that the Fed is about to start removing stimulus will prevent us from continuing trading the upside even if it is widely expected,” Christoph Hock, an equity sales trader at Alpha Wertpapierhandels GmbH in Frankfurt, said by phone today. “A lot of the bond tapering is priced in, but given the fact that we had a recent rally, I think the market will take it slightly negative.”

A report from the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim showed German investor confidence increased for a second month in September by more than economists had forecast. The ZEW’s index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, rose to 49.6 from 42 in August. Economists predicted a reading of 45, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Fed Meeting

The Federal Open Market Committee meets Sept. 17-18 and economists in a Bloomberg survey this month forecast policy makers will reduce the monthly pace of bond purchases by $10 billion, to $75 billion. That’s down from expectations of a $20 billion reduction in a July survey.

Geberit, maker of toilets and bathroom-piping systems, fell 1.4 percent to 242.40 francs.

Richemont, which got 41 percent of sales from the Asia-Pacific region last year, declined 1 percent to 92.20 francs, tracking losses in Chinese peer Hengdeli Holdings Ltd.

Chinese stocks fell the most in two months after foreign investment data trailed economists’ estimates and money-market rates rose before the start of holidays this week.

Non-financial foreign direct investment rose 0.6 percent in August from a year earlier to $8.38 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce. That missed the median estimate for growth of 12.5 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Foreign investment growth slowed from 24.1 percent in July.

Holcim, the world’s largest cement maker, gained 0.7 percent to 67.40 francs. A gauge of construction-related stocks was among the best performers of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Ascom Holding AG advanced 2.4 percent to 12.70 francs. The security-solutions and communications company said that it is releasing a new version of its Radio Access Network testing product for iPhone handsets.

Addex Therapeutics Ltd. retreated 4.8 percent to 3.75 francs. The biotechnology company reported a net loss of 13.9 million francs ($15 million) for the six months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 14.9 million a year earlier.

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