Swiss Stocks Retreat as Julius Baer Shares DeclineCecile Vannucci
Swiss stocks slipped, extending their loss this week, as Julius Baer Group Ltd. and Geberit AG declined, and a report showed that Switzerland’s manufacturing industry expanded at a slower-than-expected pace last month.
Julius Baer declined 3.5 percent after Deutsche Bank AG lowered its rating for the country’s third-largest wealth manager. Geberit retreated 1 percent after the maker of toilets rallied yesterday to the highest price since its initial public offering in 1999. OC Oerlikon Corp. rose to its highest price in almost five years as it named a permanent replacement to former chief executive officer Michael Buscher.
The Swiss Market Index lost 0.2 percent to 8,221.8 at the close in Zurich, extending its decline this week to 0.3 percent. The gauge rallied 2.6 percent in October, completing its biggest two-month advance since the beginning of the year, as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a new budget to avoid a sovereign default and end a partial government shutdown. The broader Swiss Performance Index also retreated 0.2 percent today.
“We see some selling in the industrial space,” Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland, said in an interview. “Geberit was up more than 7 percent yesterday; investors are taking profit.”
The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the SMI was 2.6 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
An index of manufacturing activity in Switzerland fell to 54.2 in October from 55.3 in September. Economists had predicted the purchasing managers’ index from Credit Suisse Group AG would decline to 55.2, according to the average forecast compiled by Bloomberg. Readings above 50 mean that activity increased.
In the U.S., a report showed manufacturing grew at a faster pace than forecast. The Institute for Supply Management’s index climbed to 56.4 last month from 56.2 in September. That beat the median economist estimate of 55 in a Bloomberg survey. In China, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing’s measure of manufacturing rose more than forecast to its highest level in 18 months.
Julius Baer dropped 3.5 percent to 43.02 francs for the biggest decline on the SMI. Deutsche Bank analyst Matt Spick lowered the wealth manager to hold from buy in a note dated yesterday. He predicted that Julius Baer will refer to lower client activity and a bigger drag from tax declarations in Western Europe when it publishes its interim management statement on Nov. 15.
Geberit slipped 1 percent to 268.70 francs. The shares rallied 7.4 percent yesterday after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and confirmed its full-year forecasts for sales and profitability.
OC Oerlikon jumped 3.5 percent to 13.15 francs as the Swiss maker of textile machinery and car gears appointed Brice Koch from ABB as its new CEO. ABB, where Koch ran the power-systems division, lost 1.2 percent to 22.90 francs.
Actelion Ltd. climbed 1.4 percent to 71.25 francs, the biggest gain on the SMI. The biotechnology company, which won approval to sell its lung drug Opsumit in the U.S. last month, trades at its highest price since October 2007.