Swiss stocks advanced for a second day, with the benchmark index completing the biggest weekly rally in almost a month, as a U.S. report showed hiring in the world’s biggest economy increased more than forecast in October.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, climbed to the highest in at least 22 years. Emmi (EMMN) AG rose 2.2 percent to an all-time high. Schmolz & Bickenbach (STLN) AG plunged 15 percent after the maker of high-grade steel products reduced its earnings forecast.
The Swiss Market Index (SMI) gained 0.6 percent to 6,701.37 at the close in Zurich, extending this week’s advance to 1.5 percent. The gauge has rallied 17 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as European Central Bank policy makers agreed on an unlimited bond-buying plan and the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing. The Swiss Performance Index also rose 0.6 percent today.
“The U.S. employment numbers have overall turned out more positive than expected,” Bernd Krampen, an economist at Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover, Germany, wrote in a report. “The brightening of the labor market continues, with slightly bigger momentum.”
The SMI gained this week amid better-than-projected company earnings and economic reports from the U.S. and China that beat forecasts. The number of shares changing hands in the SMI was 44 percent higher than the 30-day average today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
U.S. employers added 171,000 workers to payrolls last month after a 148,000 gain in September that was more than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today. The median forecast of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 125,000. The jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent as more people entered the labor force.
Richemont climbed 2.9 percent to 65.20 Swiss francs, the highest price since at least 1990, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Swatch Group AG (UHR), the world’s biggest watchmaker, added 2.8 percent to 415.30 francs. A gauge of personal and household-goods makers was the best performer among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. (SXXP)
Emmi gained 2.2 percent to 238 francs, the highest since the company sold shares to the public in 2004, after UBS raised the dairy producer to buy from neutral.
Schmolz & Bickenbach plummeted 15 percent to 3.03 francs, the lowest since January 2004, as the company said it no longer forecasts slightly positive earnings before taxes this year.
“As we feared, industry fundamentals did not improve in the second half of 2012 -- and even got worse,” Patrick Rafaisz, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG in Zurich, wrote in a note to clients today. “More restructuring charges and a cap hike could loom in 2013. It is time that the company comes up with more drastic measures in order to tidy up the balance sheet. For the time being, the stock is a no-go for investors.”
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