Swiss Stocks Advance on German Confidence Report

Stocks in Switzerland advanced for a second day, paring the biggest quarterly decline since September 2011 for the Swiss Market Index, as a gauge of German consumer confidence predicted sentiment will improve in July.

Roche Holding AG led gains after the largest maker of cancer drugs reached a deal to share early-stage research data with AstraZeneca Plc. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA rose 2.1 percent as Bank of America Corp. said the stock should be in the core portfolio of long-term investors.

The Swiss Market Index climbed 2.1 percent to 7,553.89 at the close of trading in Zurich. The benchmark gauge is still heading for a decline of 5 percent in June, the biggest monthly decline since July 2011. The broader Swiss Performance Index rallied 2 percent today.

“Stock volatility has increased and provides good conditions for traders to jump on short-term price swings,” Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capital Management LLC in Munich, wrote in an e-mail. “Today’s positive markets continue a rebound from recent weakness and should be approached with strong risk management as uncertainties rise.”

German consumer confidence will increase to 6.8 next month from 6.5 in June, Nuremberg-based research company GfK AG said today. That would be the highest since September 2007. Analysts had expected a reading of 6.5, according to the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 14 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The measure has slumped 3.3 percent so far this quarter, trimming its gain for the year to 11 percent.

Roche Partnership

Roche advanced 4.1 percent to 227.90 Swiss francs. The company struck a partnership with AstraZeneca to share data on early-stage drug design, AstraZeneca said on its website. The partners will contribute data to a third company, U.K.-based MedChemica Ltd., according to the statement.

Richemont gained 2.1 percent to 81.45 francs. Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit added the company to its so-called “Europe 1” list, saying it expects the owner of the Cartier brand to continue to take market share from smaller jewelers.

Swatch Group AG, the biggest maker of Swiss timepieces, rose 2 percent to 506.50 francs. Sales at its Omega unit may reach 2.5 billion francs ($2.7 billion) this year, Le Temps reported, citing an interview with Stephen Urquhart, the president of the business. He had earlier said the target would be reached this year or 2014. Omega accounts for a third of Swatch’s revenue, the paper said.

Drug Trial

Novartis AG gained 1.9 percent to 65.55 francs. The drugmaker said its omalizumab drug met all objectives in a Phase 3 safety registration study to treat chronic spontaneous urticaria, a form of skin rash also known as hives.

Swiss Re AG, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, gained 2.1 percent to 69.85 francs. Mainfirst Bank AG raised its recommendation on the stock to outperform, a rating similar to buy, from underperform.

Zurich Insurance Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest insurer, added 2.1 percent to 243.10 francs. A gauge of insurance shares on the Stoxx 600 Europe Index rose 2.1 percent.

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