Swiss Stocks Fall by Most in Almost Seven WeeksInyoung Hwang
Swiss stocks declined by the most in almost seven weeks, as investors weighed data showing house prices in U.S. cities rose by the most since February 2006 and consumer confidence in the world’s largest economy declined.
Nestle SA slid, contributing the most to the drop in the benchmark Swiss Market Index. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA fell 0.9 percent after Hugo Boss AG postponed its profitability target. Transocean Ltd. retreated for the fourth straight day, losing 2.2 percent.
The SMI slipped 0.8 percent to 8,238.92 at the close in Zurich, falling for the fifth day out of six. The gauge gained 0.7 percent yesterday as Iran’s commitment to limit its nuclear program reduced political risks for investors and pushed oil prices lower. The Swiss Performance Index slid 0.6 percent today.
“Yesterday we got some buying on the Iran outcome and today we’re seeing some profit taking,” Christian Schmidt, an equity analyst at Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen in Frankfurt, said by telephone. “In the last few days, we got some new highs. Therefore, the complete picture seems good. On the other hand, we have light volumes and no dynamic movements.”
The volume of shares changing hands in SMI-listed companies was 26 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller index of house prices in 20 cities rose 13.3 percent in the year through September. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 31 economists called for a 13 percent advance.
Data showed that confidence among U.S. consumers decreased to 70.4 in November from a revised 72.4 in the prior month. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists predicted the Conference Board’s index would rise to 72.6.
Nestle retreated 1.6 percent to 66.25 Swiss francs, falling with a gauge of food and beverage makers listed on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, the regional benchmark.
Richemont, the owner of the Cartier brand, fell 0.9 percent to 91.35 francs. Hugo Boss, the German luxury-clothing maker controlled by Permira Advisers LLP, said late yesterday it will miss its 2015 target to achieve a 25 percent margin based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Transocean, the world’s largest offshore rig contractor, fell 2.2 percent to 45.58 francs, the lowest level since Nov. 6.
Santhera Pharmaceutical Holding AG rallied 8.9 percent to 3.54 francs, for its biggest gain in four weeks. The developer of drugs for neuromuscular diseases said that a study of its Catena treatment is on track to deliver results in the second quarter of 2014.
EFG International AG added 4.3 percent to 12.15 francs for the biggest gain since July. The bank controlled by Greek billionaire Spiro Latsis was raised to outperform from neutral at Mediobanca SpA.