Bloomberg News

Swiss Benchmark Stocks Snap Three Weeks of Gains as UBS Retreats

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks declined, snapping three weeks of gains, as Germany said European Union leaders won’t find a swift solution to the euro-area debt crisis.

UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest lender, fell 1.8 percent. Kuehne + Nagel International AG, the world’s largest sea-freight forwarder, also slid 1.8 percent after reporting third-quarter results that missed analysts’ estimates. Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s largest maker of bulk chocolate, increased 2.3 percent.

The Swiss Market Index, a measure of the biggest and most actively traded companies, fell 0.7 percent to 5,723.71 by the close in Zurich after earlier climbing as much as 1 percent. The gauge has tumbled 11 percent this year as disappointing European and U.S. economic reports fueled concern that the global recovery is faltering. The broader Swiss Performance Index also declined 0.7 percent.

“Investors remain cautious and we don’t think the market already managed to re-price to a more benign scenario,” Mislav Matejka, chief European equity strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., wrote in a report today.

Swiss stocks pared earlier gains after Steffen Seibert, Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman, said in Berlin today the German chancellor has made it clear “dreams that are taking hold again now that with this package everything will be solved and everything will be over on Monday won’t be able to be fulfilled.”

G-20 Paris Meeting

G-20 finance ministers and central bankers concluded weekend talks in Paris endorsing parts of an emerging plan to avoid a Greek default, bolster banks and curb contagion. They set Oct. 23, when European leaders will meet in Brussels, as the deadline for firming it up.

The plan, which has still to be made public, includes writing down Greek bonds by as much as 50 percent, establishing a backstop for banks and magnifying the strength of the 440 billion-euro ($611 billion) temporary rescue fund known as the European Financial Stability Facility, people familiar with the matter said last week.

In the U.S., a report showed that manufacturing in the New York region contracted at a faster pace than forecast in October. The Empire State Index covering New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut gave a reading of minus 8.5, a bigger drop than the average estimate of minus 4 in a Bloomberg News survey of 53 economists.

UBS Slumps

UBS slumped 1.8 percent to 10.62 francs. The bank will need about two to four years to make it back to the top, Interim Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti told SonntagsBlick.

Kuehne + Nagel sank 1.8 percent to 103 francs after it said third-quarter net income fell 16 percent to 142 million francs. That compared with a median estimate of 158.4 million francs from 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Barry Callebaut rose 2.3 percent to 822.50 francs, the highest price since July 29, after Patrick Jnglin, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, raised the stock to “outperform” from “neutral.”

Transocean Ltd., the biggest offshore drilling contractor, gained 3.7 percent to 45.80 francs.

--Editors: Randall Hackley, Paul Verschuur

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

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