Stocks in Switzerland declined as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said a bailout for the country isn’t imminent and a report showed China’s services industry expanded at the slowest rate in 19 months.
Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) led losses in the Swiss Market Index, falling 1.3 percent. Cie. Financiere Richemont (CFR) SA dropped 1.2 percent. Holcim Ltd. (HOLN) rose 1.5 percent for the biggest gain on the index. UBS AG (UBSN) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) led shares of banks higher.
The benchmark SMI (SMI) fell 0.1 percent to 6,607.36 at 12:27 p.m. in Zurich, the first decline in three days. The gauge dropped 1.7 percent last week amid concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest round of bond buying will fail to encourage economic growth. The broader Swiss Performance Index also retreated 0.1 percent today.
“Equity markets are trading lower this morning on yet more bad news out of China,” Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London, wrote in e-mailed comments. “Furthermore, comments made by Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy after yesterday’s close that there are no plans for requesting aid in the near future have proven to be a setback for those who had hoped that uncertainty concerning Spain would finally be coming to an end.”
Spain has no plans to ask for a bailout soon, Rajoy said late yesterday, in response to mounting speculation that a request was imminent.
China’s non-manufacturing industries expanded at a pace slower than any previous reading compiled by Bloomberg News starting March 2011. The purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.7 in September from 56.3 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in Beijing. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
In the U.S., data at 10 a.m. New York time will probably show service industries in the world’s largest economy grew in September almost a similar pace to the prior month. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index slipped to to 53.4 from 53.7 in August, according to the median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The volume of shares in SMI-listed companies changing hands was 19 percent lower than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Julius Baer, the Swiss wealth manager established in 1890, declined 1.3 percent to 32.99 Swiss francs.
Richemont, the maker of Chloe bags and Dunhill briefcases, fell 1.2 percent to 57.95 francs.
Implenia AG (IMPN), a Swiss builder, dropped 1.5 percent to 38.70 francs as Helvea SA downgraded the stock to accumulate from buy.
Holcim, the world’s second-largest cement maker, gained 1.9 percent to 62.50 francs, rising for a third day.
UBS and Credit Suisse each advanced 1 percent, to 11.89 francs and 20.99 francs respectively. A gauge of banks was the third-best performer of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 Europe Index.
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