Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks climbed for a second day, led by watchmakers, as a report showing better-than- estimated U.S. housing starts boosted speculation the world’s largest economy can avoid a recession.
Swatch Group AG and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA rose more than 2.5 percent following a report that Swiss watch exports increased. Novartis AG, Europe’s biggest drugmaker by sales, dropped 0.7 percent after deciding to stop a clinical test of its heart drug Tekturna. Roche Holding AG, the world’s largest maker of cancer drugs, fell 1.1 percent.
The Swiss Market Index, a measure of Switzerland’s biggest and most actively traded companies, gained 0.6 percent to 5,804.31 at 5:31 p.m. in Zurich. The benchmark has declined 9.8 percent this year as the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis spread. The broader Swiss Performance Index rose 0.8 percent today.
--Editor: Andrew Rummer
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