Swiss Stocks Advance for a Second Day as Economy Expands
Swiss stocks rose, sending the country’s equity benchmark higher for a second day, as the economy unexpectedly expanded in the fourth quarter.
Swatch Group AG (UHR), the biggest maker of Swiss watches, climbed 1.4 percent. Temenos Group AG (TEMN) advanced for a second day. Addex Therapeutics Ltd. gained 3.8 percent after the company narrowed its full-year net loss.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) added 0.5 percent to 7,522.02 at 10:57 a.m. in Zurich, extending its gain in February to 1.8 percent. The equity benchmark has risen for six consecutive months, its longest winning streak since 2009. The gauge climbed 0.5 percent yesterday after Italy sold debt and a report showed a jump in U.S. durable-goods orders excluding transportation equipment. The broader Swiss Performance Index increased 0.4 percent today.
“In contrast with most other industrial countries, the Swiss economy was able to maintain a positive growth momentum at the end of 2012, thanks to resilient consumption,” Alexander Koch, an economist at UniCredit SpA in Munich, wrote in a report to clients dated today. “The outlook for this year remains comparatively favorable.”
Today’s report showed the Swiss economy expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern. Economists had forecast stagnation, the median of 19 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Gross domestic product increased 0.6 percent in the third quarter.
Stocks also advanced today after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled at an event in Munich yesterday that the ECB has no intention of withdrawing its measures to combat the euro area’s debt crisis.
Temenos, a Swiss maker of banking software, added 3.8 percent to 21.75 francs, extending yesterday’s 13 percent rally after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings.
Addex climbed 28 centimes to 7.58 francs, rising for the first time in four days. The biotechnology company narrowed its full-year loss to 27 million francs ($29 million) from a 31.1 million-franc net loss a year earlier.
Sika AG (SIK) dropped 2.7 percent to 2,282 francs after the world’s largest maker of construction chemicals said it will probably not reach a medium-term sales growth target of as much as 10 percent as the euro area’s debt woes weigh on builders. The company forecast growth of 4 percent to 6 percent.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 28 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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