Swiss Stocks Rise as China Growth Outweighs U.S. Sales

Stocks in Switzerland climbed, following three successive weeks of gains, as a report showing Chinese quarterly economic growth matched forecasts outweighed weaker-than-estimated U.S. retail sales data.

Kuehne & Nagel, the world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder, added 2 percent after posting an increase in second-quarter profit. Transocean rose 0.7 percent. Swisslog Holding AG slid 1.9 percent after it predicted a drop of as much as 5 percent in 2013 net sales.

The Swiss Market Index gained 0.2 percent to 7,999.15 at the close of trading in Zurich, with four stocks rising for each that fell. The equity benchmark advanced 2.6 percent last week as Alcoa Inc. started the U.S. earnings season with better-than-estimated results and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy still needs stimulus. The broader Swiss Performance Index also added 0.2 percent today.

“Markets right now are in a rather positive mood,” Alessandro Fezzi, senior market analyst at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich, said in a telephone interview. “Even the weaker-than-expected retail sales figures in the U.S. are not necessarily a negative because markets think that the Fed will continue stimulus beyond September. We still see a rather slow recovery in the U.S., and figures like this confirm this.”

China’s gross domestic product rose 7.5 percent in the April-to-June quarter from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing. That equaled the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The economy expanded at a 7.7 percent pace in the first quarter.

Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales rose 0.4 percent in June, following a 0.5 percent increase in May that was less than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.8 percent advance last month. Sales were unchanged excluding the biggest jump in automobile purchases since November.

The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 40 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Kuehne & Nagel climbed 2 percent to 112.30 Swiss francs. Net income rose 6.3 percent to 153 million francs ($161 million), meeting analyst estimates collected by Bloomberg, as the market for shipments by sea expanded and a reorganization helped the company reduce costs.

Transocean Ltd., an offshore drilling contractor, added 0.7 percent to 47.36 francs.

A gauge of European insurers was the third-best performer of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Swiss Re AG gained 1.1 percent to 73.10 francs and Zurich Insurance Group AG added 0.8 percent to 254 francs.

Swisslog slid 1.9 percent to 1.05 francs, paring earlier losses of as much as 5.6 percent. The supply-chain contractor said its traditionally stronger second half won’t compensate for first-half weakness.

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