Barefoot Investor: Swiss Stocks Fall for 12th Day, Extending Longest Losing Streak Since 1988

Swiss stocks slid for a 12th day, extending the Swiss Market Index (SMI)’s longest losing streak on record, as banks retreated amid concern the global economy is faltering.

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), Switzerland’s second-largest bank, plunged to its lowest price since 2003. Synthes Inc. (SYST), the maker of devices to treat spinal injuries, fell 2.4 percent after first-half earnings.

The SMI, a measure of the biggest and most actively traded companies, lost 1.6 percent to 4,888.92 at 3:09 p.m. in Zurich. The gauge entered a bear market on Aug. 4 after plummeting more than 20 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 18 as Europe’s debt crisis and the slowing global economy prompted investors to buy the Swiss franc, reducing the value of exporters’ revenue. The broader Swiss Performance Index also fell 1.6 percent today.

Swiss consumer confidence weakened more than economists forecast in July, slipping to minus 17 from minus 1 in April, adding to signs the economy is losing momentum. That’s the lowest since July 2009. Economists had forecast a drop to minus 5.

Household Pessimism

Swiss households are growing more pessimistic as a surging franc undermines exports and adds pressure on companies to eliminate jobs. The Swiss central bank on Aug. 3 unexpectedly lowered borrowing costs to zero, saying the outlook for the economy has “deteriorated substantially.”

Credit Suisse plunged 5.3 percent to 21.43 francs, its lowest price since March 2003.

Synthes declined 2.4 percent to 128.9 francs after reporting first-half net income of $454.4 million.

Transocean Ltd. (RIG), the world’s largest offshore driller, slipped 3.2 percent to 37.84 francs and Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT), a Geneva-based oil-rig owner, dropped 5.2 percent to 12.10 francs. Oil traded near a 10-month low in New York as the U.S. credit-rating cut boosted concern the economic slowdown will worsen. (Bloomberg)


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