Swiss Stocks Advance on German Confidence Report
Stocks in Switzerland advanced for a second day, paring a monthly decline for the benchmark Swiss Market Index (SMI), as a gauge of German consumer confidence predicted sentiment will improve in July.
Roche Holding AG (ROG) led gains after the Wall Street Journal reported that the largest maker of cancer drugs will share early-stage research data with AstraZeneca Plc. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) rose 2.4 percent as Bank of America Corp. said the stock should be in the core portfolio of long-term investors.
The Swiss Market Index climbed 1.3 percent to 7,496.77 at 11:15 a.m. in Zurich. The gauge is still heading for a decline of 5.6 percent in June that would be the biggest monthly retreat since July 2011. The broader Swiss Performance Index also rallied 1.3 percent today.
German consumer confidence will rise 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 35 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Roche advanced 2 percent to 223.30 Swiss francs. The company struck a partnership with AstraZeneca to share data on early-stage drug design, WSJ reported. Under the agreement, both companies will contribute data to a third company, U.K.-based MedChemica Ltd., WSJ said.
Richemont gained 2.4 percent to 81.70 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 1.5 percent to 504 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.
Novartis AG (NOVN) gained 1.3 percent to 65.20 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.
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