Swiss Stocks Rise to a Five-Year High as Geberit Rallies
Swiss stocks rose to their highest level in more than five years after the country’s equity market reopened following the Whit Monday holiday, as the Swiss franc fell against the euro.
Geberit climbed to a record price for the eighth consecutive trading day. Sonova Holding AG (SOON) slid 1.1 percent after forecasting that profit will grow at a slower pace in the year through March 2014. Transocean Ltd. (RIG) dropped 2.6 percent as the state of Texas sued the world’s largest supplier of offshore oil rigs for its part in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
The SMI (SMI) rose 0.5 percent to 8,318.42 at the close of trading in Zurich, its highest level since January 2008, rebounding from a retreat of as much as 0.7 percent. The equity benchmark has rallied 22 percent so far this year as central banks around the world maintained monetary stimulus. The Swiss Performance Index gained 0.4 percent today.
“The drop in the franc favors Swiss export stocks,” said John Plassard, who helps oversee $28 billion as vice president at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva. “Investors are thinking about what Bernanke will say about quantitative easing.”
Stocks climbed in the final half hour of trading as the franc declined. Switzerland’s currency depreciated 0.3 percent against the euro to 1.2495 per euro.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke testifies on the outlook for the U.S. economy to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress tomorrow. The Fed also releases the minutes of its April 30 to May 1 policy meeting tomorrow.
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 24 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Geberit rose 3 percent to 249.50 Swiss francs. The Swiss maker of toilets and bathroom piping advanced for an 18th day, the longest winning streak since it first sold shares to the public in 1999.
Leclanche SA (LECN) surged 12 percent to 3.74 francs. The 104-year-old Swiss battery maker said that Bruellan Corporate Governance Action Fund has increased its bridge loan to the company by 1.5 million euros ($1.9 million) to cover its short-term needs until the end of June.
Sonova slid 1.1 percent to 103.50 Swiss francs, paring an earlier drop of as much as 4.8 percent. The maker of hearing aids said earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and impairments will climb 9 percent to 13 percent this financial year. Ebita rose 15 percent in the 12 months through March, the Staefa, Switzerland-based company said.
Transocean fell 2.6 percent to 52.20 francs. Texas’s Attorney General, Greg Abbott, accused the company of violating the state’s environmental laws. In its complaint, the state sought damages for economic loss, including lost tax revenue, and harm to natural resources. It asked for civil penalties for every day that the Macondo well discharged oil into the gulf. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded, leading to the world’s worst accidental oil spill.
Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, dropped 1.5 percent to 28.81 francs. A gauge of bank shares was the biggest drag on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Julius Baer Group Ltd., the country’s third-biggest wealth manager, retreated 2.8 percent to 39.39 francs, halting six days of gains.
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