Swiss Stocks Advance as U.K. Economy Grows, Nobel Gains

Swiss stocks advanced for a third day as data showed the U.K. economy avoided a triple-dip recession, offsetting worse-than-estimated results from Logitech International SA.

Nobel Biocare Holding AG rallied the most since October 2011 as profit beat analysts’ estimates. Holcim Ltd. and Geberit AG climbed more than 1 percent, following European construction companies higher. Logitech, the world’s largest maker of computer mice, sank the most in three months after posting a quarterly loss.

The Swiss Market Index rose 0.5 percent to 7,901.24 at the close in Zurich, the highest level since January 2008. The equity benchmark completed the largest two-day gain since Jan. 4 yesterday as investors bet the European Central Bank will lower interest rates next week. The gauge has rallied 16 percent this year. The Swiss Performance Index added 0.6 percent today.

“The financial markets are focusing on the quarterly reports of numerous companies today,” said Alessandro Fezzi, senior market analyst at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich. “Results were rather mixed, which is reflected in the share price movements today. Investors are waiting for tomorrow’s U.S. GDP data.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 4.1 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Britain’s economy avoided a triple-dip recession in the first quarter with expansion that exceeded economists’ forecasts. Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the period, the Office for National Statistics said today. The median forecast of 37 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for 0.1 percent growth.

Nobel, Holcim

Nobel Biocare surged 13 percent to 10.70 Swiss francs. The world’s second-biggest maker of dental implants reported first-quarter net income of 13.3 million euros ($17.3 million) beat the average analyst estimate that called for 11.7 million euros.

Holcim, the world’s largest cement maker, gained 2.2 percent to 71.95 francs, while Geberit, a manufacturer of toilets and bathroom piping, added 1.1 percent to 225.10 francs. Sika AG climbed 2 percent to 2,248 francs. A gauge of European construction companies was among the best performers of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Logitech fell 7.4 percent to 6.30 francs after reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $36 million, compared with a net income of $28 million a year earlier.

“Logitech remains a construction site with restructuring continuing and repositioning in progress,” Michael Foeth, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG, wrote in a note to clients today. “We remain on the sidelines.”

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