Swiss Stocks Rise on Comments From U.S. Central Bankers

Stocks in Switzerland climbed, rebounding from their biggest three-day selloff in 21 months, after two Federal Reserve presidents emphasized that U.S. monetary policy remains accommodative.

Companies from Cie. Financiere Richemont SA to SGS SA and Holcim Ltd. rallied more than 2.5 percent. Basilea Pharmaceutica AG advanced 4.8 percent after winning a U.S. contract to develop an antibiotic.

The Swiss Market Index rose 2 percent to 7,397.39 at the close in Zurich as all 20 of the gauge’s stocks advanced. The SMI had tumbled 6.2 percent in the previous three trading days, its biggest slide since September 2011, as the Fed indicated that it may start paring stimulus measures this year if the economy strengthens. The broader Swiss Performance Index also gained 2 percent today.

“European share markets are rebounding,” said Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital in London, in e-mailed comments. “The risk tone has improved somewhat after Dallas Federal Reserve head Fisher attempted to downplay the markets’ reaction to central-bank tapering.”

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 2.4 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, who has called for easier policy, said yesterday the Fed must emphasize that policy will remain accommodative “for a considerable time” after the end of quantitative easing. Kocherlakota, who doesn’t vote this year, spoke to reporters on a conference call.

Accommodative Policy

The President of the Fed Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher, said in London yesterday that the central bank is continuing its bond-buying program.

“What we’re talking about here is dialing back,” Fisher said. “The word ‘exit’ is not appropriate here.” The head of the Dallas Fed also doesn’t vote on policy this year.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a speech in Berlin today that the condition of the euro-area economy still merits loose monetary policy.

“We expect that monetary stimulus and improvements in financial markets will support a recovery later in the year.”

Richemont, the owner of the Cartier and Alfred Dunhill brands, increased 3.9 percent to 79.80 Swiss francs, for the biggest advance on the benchmark SMI. The stock had lost 9.8 percent in the previous three trading days.

SGS, the world’s largest product inspector, rose 2.8 percent to 2,071 francs. Holcim gained 2.7 percent to 65.10 francs as the world’s biggest cement maker rebounded from a four-day selloff.

Basilea Pharmaceutica jumped 4.8 percent to 67.15 francs, after sliding 4.8 percent yesterday. The biotechnology company received a contract of as much as $89 million from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop its novel antibiotic BAL30072.

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