Bloomberg News

Swiss Stocks Gain the Most in Four Weeks; Swatch, Richemont Rise

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss stocks rallied the most in four weeks as a report showed that U.S. manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in January.

Watchmakers led gains in the Swiss Market Index as Swatch Group AG and Cie Financiere Richemont SA climbed more than 3.5 percent. Adecco SA, the world’s biggest supplier of temporary labor, surged more than 6 percent. Roche Holding AG, the largest maker of cancer drugs, declined 1.5 percent after posting earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

The SMI, a measure of the largest and most actively traded companies, advanced 1.7 percent to 6,069.91 at the close. in Zurich, as every stock in the gauge gained apart from Roche. The SMI posted its biggest rally since Jan. 3. The gauge rose 0.6 percent in January. The broader Swiss Performance Index added 1.6 percent today.

“While waiting for a solution to the European debt crisis, markets are celebrating the small positive steps forward such as this morning’s Chinese data,” Torben Hoeyer, the chief equity adviser at Nordea Private Bank in Copenhagen, said in a note to clients.

In the U.S., a report showed that manufacturing grew at a faster pace last month. The Institute for Supply Management said its factory index rose to 54.1 in January, the highest level since June. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 81 economists was a reading of 54.5. Readings greater than 50 signal growth.

A separate report based on private payrolls showed that U.S. companies added 170,000 workers in January, falling short of the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists by 12,000.

U.K., China, Germany

Other reports today showed global manufacturing picked up in January, with factory indexes from China to Germany and the U.K. showing growth.

Chinese manufacturing indexes rose in January as the world’s second-biggest economy withstood weaker exports driven by the euro-area debt crisis and a government-induced property slowdown. The official purchasing managers’ index increased to 50.5 from 50.3 in December, exceeding the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey for a reading below the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction.

Swatch Group AG, the biggest maker of Swiss watches, gained 4.8 percent to 406.50 Swiss francs, its highest price since Aug. 2. Cie. Financiere Richemont, the second-largest luxury goods maker that generated half its sales in Asia in the last fiscal year, climbed 3.9 percent to 54.15 francs, its highest price since July 14.

Greek Debt Talks

Greece expects to complete talks on a private sector debt swap and a second international financing deal for the country in the next few days, government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis said.

“Significant steps” have been made on both fronts and “we are close,” Kapsis told reporters in Athens today.

UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, the biggest Swiss lenders, advanced 3.4 percent to 12.96 francs and 4.5 percent to 24.96 francs, respectively. Swiss Re, the second-biggest reinsurer, climbed 3 percent to 51.45 francs.

Adecco, which generated a fifth of sales from the U.S. in 2010, surged 6.8 percent to 46.61 francs.

Roche fell 1.5 percent to 153.40 francs after posting earnings per share excluding some items of 12.30 francs last year. That missed the 12.46-franc average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Revenue for the year dropped 10 percent to 42.5 billion francs ($46.6 billion), hurt by the strength of the Swiss currency against the dollar and euro. At constant exchange rates, sales rose 1 percent.

--Editors: Randall Hackley, Will Hadfield

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Levring in Copenhagen at

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

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