July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks advanced for a fourth day, led by financial companies, as the benchmark index headed for its biggest weekly gain since March.
Credit Suisse Group AG, the nation’s second-biggest bank, rose 2.5 percent for its biggest gain in nineteen weeks. Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world’s second-largest reinsurer, increased 1.9 percent.
The Swiss Market Index of the biggest and most actively traded companies climbed 0.8 percent to 6,237.81 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Zurich. The benchmark measure has gained 4 percent this week, its biggest advance in three months. The broader Swiss Performance Index also rose 0.8 percent to 5,731.47 today.
“In the short term, concerns related to sovereign-debt problems in Greece and the rest of Europe have eased,” said Manish Singh, who helps oversee $2 billion at Crossbridge Capital in London. “Today’s manufacturing report from the U.S. is also helping to drive equity markets. Stocks may continue to rally if earnings meet expectations later this month and next week’s U.S. payrolls figure doesn’t disappoint.”
Swiss stocks gained as an Austrian Finance Ministry official said that Greece may receive as much as 85 billion euros ($123 billion) in new financing, including a contribution from private investors, in a second bailout aimed at preventing default.
The package will total 190 billion euros to 195 billion euros, including the 110 billion euros from the original rescue a year ago, Thomas Wieser, head of the ministry’s economic policy and financial markets department, said at a briefing with Finance Minister Maria Fekter in Vienna late yesterday.
U.S. Manufacturing Index
Shares extended their earlier advance after a report showed U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in June, a sign that the industry is rebounding after shortages of parts and components from Japan slowed production. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 55.3 last month from 53.5 in May, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Economists had predicted the index would drop to 52, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
Credit Suisse advanced 2.5 percent to 33.53 Swiss francs, helping a gauge of banking shares to climb the most out of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, added 2.4 percent to 15.69 francs. UBS plans to appoint Axel Weber as chairman. The lender will nominate the former Bundesbank president to the board of directors at the next shareholders meeting on May 3, 2012, UBS said in a statement today.
The appointment “has brought clarity to one of the main long-term management issues” at UBS, Swiss National Bank Chairman Philipp Hildebrand said. “This can also be assessed very favorably with regard to the outlook for the bank,” he said.
Swiss Re increased 1.9 percent to 48.10 francs for the stock’s fifth straight gain.
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