Swiss Stocks Drop From Five-Year High on U.S. Economy

Swiss stocks declined from a five-year high as a report showed U.S. service-industries growth missed economists’ forecasts.

Meyer Burger Technology AG slid 6.8 percent after announcing a plan to sell shares. Actelion Ltd., the maker of the Tracleer lung drug, dropped the most in more than two months. Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG soared the most in seven years after naming a new chief executive officer.

The Swiss Market Index fell 0.3 percent to 7,875.1 at the close of trading in Zurich, retreating from the highest level since January 2008. The benchmark gauge earlier rallied as much as 0.6 percent. The broader Swiss Performance Index also declined 0.3 percent.

The SMI has surged 15 percent this year, bringing the advance since the low in March 2009 to 83 percent. The number of shares changing hands in the SMI today was 18 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Service industries in the U.S. expanded in March at the slowest pace in seven months as new orders and employment cooled in the biggest part of the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index declined to 54.4 from a one-year high of 56 in February, a report from the Tempe, Arizona-based group showed today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a drop to 55.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

ADP Data

U.S. companies added fewer workers than projected in March, held back by limited hiring in construction, according to a private report. The 158,000 increase in employment was the smallest since October and followed a revised 237,000 gain the prior month, figures from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed. The median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 200,000 advance.

Meyer Burger dropped 6.8 percent to 7.29 Swiss francs, snapping a four-day rally. The supplier of machinery to solar-panel makers plans to sell as many as 48.2 million new shares. They would be offered to existing shareholders through subscription rights, the company said.

Actelion retreated 2.1 percent to 50.95 francs, snapping a four-day rally that had driven the shares to the highest level in almost two years.

Panalpina jumped 15 percent to 96.55 francs, the biggest rally since September 2005. The freight-forwarding company named Peter Ulber as CEO to replace Monika Ribar as of June 1.

Syngenta AG, the world’s largest producer of crop chemicals, rose 0.8 percent to 394.1 francs. St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., the biggest seed company, increased its full-year earnings forecast today.

Cham Paper Holding AG climbed 10 percent to 199 francs, the biggest advance since June 2009, after the paper manufacturer said it’s in talks with Austria’s Delfort Group on possible cooperation in specialty papers.