Bloomberg News

Swiss Stocks Decline From a Six-Month High; Novartis Leads Drop

January 23, 2012

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Switzerland dropped, dragging the Swiss Market Index from a six-month high, amid concern that this year’s rally has pushed share prices beyond the outlook for economic growth and company earnings.

Novartis AG slid 4 percent as European regulators started a review of its Gilenya pill for multiple sclerosis. Meyer Burger Technology AG fell 6.6 percent as Germany said it will cut solar subsidies more frequently. ABB Ltd. fell 1.4 percent.

The SMI, a measure of the biggest and most actively traded companies, dropped 1.2 percent to 6,122.67 at the close in Zurich, after yesterday climbing to its highest level since July 7. The gauge still rallied 2.1 percent this week amid signs that the U.S. economy is recovering and on speculation that China will ease lending curbs to spur economic growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index slipped 1 percent today.

“There has been some OK data from the U.S. and China is talking about easing their monetary policy,” said Peter Garnry, an equity strategist at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark. “We think this short-term rally doesn’t have much fuel to go.” He spoke in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Novartis retreated 4 percent to 52.05 Swiss francs, the biggest drop since August. The European Medicines Agency started a review of Gilenya after 11 deaths among patients who received treatment.

Meyer Burger, Europe’s largest maker of solar-panel equipment, dropped 6.6 percent to 17.80 francs as Germany said it will cut solar subsidies more frequently in an effort to slow installations that reached a record last year.

ABB, the world’s largest maker of power-transmission gear, slipped 1.4 percent to 19.72 francs, snapping a four-day rally.

--Editors: Will Hadfield, Andrew Rummer

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at

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

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