Swiss Stocks Climb for Fourth Day; Adecco, Clariant Lead Gains
Swiss stocks rose for a fourth day after Federal Reserve minutes showed some U.S. policy makers wanted to add to economic stimulus measures.
Adecco SA (ADEN), the world’s largest temporary-staffing company, rallied the most since March after rival Monster Worldwide Inc. surged in U.S. trading yesterday. Transocean Ltd. (RIG), the world’s biggest offshore driller, climbed 0.7 percent. Clariant AG (CLN), the maker of chemicals and paints, gained 3.5 percent.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) increased 1.5 percent to 5,528.52 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich, paring the benchmark measure’s retreat this month to 4.4 percent. The gauge has still tumbled 18 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 18 as a rally in the Swiss franc curbed exports and concern mounted that the global economic recovery is stalling. The broader Swiss Performance Index added 1.6 percent today.
Fed policy makers debated ways to invigorate the recovery and hiring at their meeting earlier this month, according to minutes released after European markets closed yesterday. That potentially lays the groundwork for action at the Federal Open Market Committee’s September gathering. A few members of the FOMC favored a “more substantial move” at the Aug. 9 meeting beyond the pledge adopted by the panel to hold interest rates at record lows for the next two years.
“The markets are reacting graciously to the FOMC minutes,” said Reto Huenerwadel, an economist at UBS AG in Zurich. “However, before the publication of extremely important data later this week, markets can still be expected to remain rather volatile.”
A release from ADP Employer Services today in New York showed that companies added 91,000 workers to payrolls this month. The data came two days before the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, which economists forecast will show payrolls climbed by 70,000 in August after an increase of 117,000 in July.
Separately, a Commerce Department report showed that orders placed with factories rose 2.4 percent in July. A level above 50 indicates expansion.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved proposed alterations to the European Financial Stability Facility today. The changes, which include expanding the EFSF to allow sovereign bond-buying powers, were agreed on by European leaders at a July summit. The draft will now go be introduced to the German parliament on Sept. 5, with lawmakers due to vote on the measures on Sept. 29.
Adecco rallied 4.4 percent to 37.63 francs, its biggest gain since March. The company generated 19 percent of its revenue from North America in 2010. Monster, the world’s largest online recruiting company, surged 21 percent in U.S. trading yesterday as investors speculated that additional Fed stimulus will spur job searches.
Transocean climbed 0.7 percent to 44.78 francs. Buccaneer Energy Ltd., an oil and gas producer with operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, agreed to make its largest purchase ever by buying a shallow-water rig from Transocean for $68.5 million in an effort to expand its business to offshore Alaska.
Clariant gained 3.5 percent to 9.06 francs as a gauge of European chemical companies was among the best performers of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Schindler Holding AG (SCHP), the world’s second-largest maker of elevators, rallied 2.5 percent to 95.75 francs, its highest price in a month, after Andre Kukhnin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, raised his price estimate for the company’s shares to 110 francs from 90 francs and reiterated his “outperform” rating.
“We believe Schindler has a number of defensive growth characteristics, which should be attractive to investors in the current uncertain market environment,” Kukhnin wrote in a note to clients today.
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