Swiss Stocks Decline for Fourth Day as Holcim RetreatsNamitha Jagadeesh
Swiss stocks declined for a fourth day, posting the biggest weekly loss in more than a month, as shares of Transocean Ltd. and Holcim Ltd. retreated.
Transocean fell 1.6 percent for the biggest decline in the benchmark Swiss Market Index. Holcim Ltd. dropped 1.2 percent for a sixth day of losses. ABB Ltd. gained 0.8 percent, snapping three days of decreases.
The SMI lost 0.2 percent to 8,250.43 at the close in Zurich. The measure has fallen 0.9 percent in the last five days, the biggest weekly drop since Oct. 4. It has still surged 21 percent this year, heading for the biggest annual rally since 2005, as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period. The Swiss Performance Index also declined 0.2 percent today.
In Germany, the Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 109.3 this month from 107.4 in October. That’s the highest since April 2012 and exceeds all 43 economist forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The median projection called for an increase to 107.7.
Euro-region finance ministers met in Brussels today to discuss the European Commission’s opinions on the draft budgets of member states. European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said he expects “a profound and substantive discussion” on the fiscal policies of the nations.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers will announce stress-test parameters by the end of January and would meet with banks.
Transocean, the world’s largest offshore-rig contractor, retreated 1.6 percent to 47.19 Swiss francs.
Holcim dropped 1.2 percent to 65.50 francs for the longest losing streak since April. The world’s biggest cement maker has retreated 3.1 percent this month after lowering its sales forecast on Nov. 5.
Nestle SA, which has a weighting of 21 percent on the SMI, declined 0.3 percent to 66.80 francs, shaving 5.3 points off the benchmark measure.
Novartis AG rose as much as 2.6 percent before ending the day down 0.2 percent to 72.20 francs. Europe’s biggest drugmaker announced a share buyback of $5 billion over two years and said it will develop new business segments in dermatology, heart failure, respiratory illnesses and cell therapy.
ABB rose 0.8 percent to 23.04 francs. The world’s biggest maker of power transformers declined 2.1 percent in the past three days for the biggest drop since August.