Research Market strategy
By Swissquote Analysts
Published on 09.02.2023
Morning news

Bayer Hires Former Roche Executive to Succeed CEO Werner Baumann

Topic of the day

Bayer AG said it is replacing the company's embattled chief executive, Werner Baumann, with Bill Anderson, a 56-year-old American pharmaceuticals executive. Mr. Baumann, 60 years old, has served as CEO since 2016 after previously serving as the company's finance chief. His current term was due to expire in April 2024. He led the company's acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, which left Bayer mired in litigation and saddled with about $43 billion in debt. Despite efforts to work through the Monsanto legal legacy, Bayer still faces considerable risk from its exposure to litigation for glyphosate, which is the active ingredient used in its Roundup weedkiller. Bayer faces thousands of lawsuits claiming that glyphosate causes cancer, despite having won at least six of the latest court cases in which it argued against those claims. The continued legal troubles and growing investor doubts about Bayer's strategy and its corporate structure attracted activist funds and led some investors to begin calling for Mr. Baumann's departure. Inclusive Capital Partners, led by Jeff Ubben, and Bluebell Capital Partners, a European activist investor, disclosed last month that they had built stakes in Bayer.

Swiss stocks

The Swiss stock market ended modestly higher on Wednesday, in line with most of the markets across Europe, after less hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday. The benchmark SMI, which climbed to 11,361.73 in early trades, ended higher by 42.41 points or 0.38% at 11,276.28. Zurich Insurance Group, Novartis and Swisscom gained 1.1 to 1.4%. Lonza Group, Partners Group, Roche Holding, Swiss Re, Credit Suisse and Alcon advanced 0.5 to 0.9%. Sika drifted down 2.34% and Geberit ended lower by 2.15%. ABB closed 1.25% down, while Sonova ended nearly 1% down. Kuehne & Nagel rallied 2.8% and Tecan Group gained nearly 2.5%. Helvetia, Bachem Holding, Galenica Sante, Zur Rose and Temenos Group ended higher by 1.1 to 1.4%. AMS dropped 5.7%. VAT Group ended 2.47% down and Belimo Holding ended lower by 2.1%. SIG Combibloc and Lindt & Spruengli lost 1.76% and 1.26%, respectively.

International markets


European stocks closed broadly higher on Wednesday, reacting positively to somewhat dovish comments from the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, and digesting a slew of quarterly earnings updates. The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.28%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100, which scaled a record high today, ended 0.26% up. Germany's DAX surged 0.6%, while France's CAC 40 gave up gains and ended 0.18% down. Switzerland's SMI gained 0.48%. Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Norway, Poland and Spain ended higher. Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Sweden closed weak. In the UK market, BT Group and BP surged 3.33% and 3.25%, respectively. Next, Persimmon, Hiscox, Barratt Developments and AstraZeneca gained 1.5 to 2%. ABRDN, Flutter Entertainment, HSBC Holdings, Rentokil Initial, Rolls-Royce Holdings, WPP, Beazley and Taylor Wimpey gained 1 to 1.4%. Smith (DS) drifted down 4%. Smurfit Kappa Group ended 3.3% down. The company reported a rise in profit in 2022, but box volumes were down around 2 percent against a strong prior year. Scottish Mortgage, Haleon, Sainsbury (J), Anglo American Plc, DCC, Fresnillo, Kingfisher and Melrose Industries ended lower by 1 to 1.5%. In Paris, BNP Paribas gained about 2.5%. Engie, Sanofi, Air Liquide and Thales ended higher by 1.4 to 2%. Societe Generale tumbled more than 5%. The lender reported that its fourth-quarter Group net income fell 35.1 percent to 1.16 billion euros from last year's 1.79 billion euros. Saint Gobain ended lower by about 4.7%, while Hermes International, WorldLine, Schneider Electric and Kering lost 1 to 1.7%. TotalEnergies ended notably lower after reporting a decline in earnings for the fourth quarter.

United States

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, reversing the prior session's rally, as investors focused on what recent remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell mean for the trajectory of interest rates. The S&P 500 retreated 46.14 points, or 1.1%, to 4117.86, a day after the benchmark index jumped 1.3% in a volatile session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 207.68 points, or 0.6%, to 33949.01 while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 203.27 points, or 1.7%, to 11910.52. On Tuesday, all three indexes closed higher. "The attention span of the market is getting shorter and shorter," said Justin Wiggs, managing director of equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus. "It's frustrating to investors." Investors also responded to another batch of earnings reports. Uber Technologies and CVS Health both rose after posting results. Uber stock jumped by $1.93, or 5.5%, to $36.83 after it reported a rise in revenue and adjusted earnings last quarter as people spent more on rides and food delivery despite concerns about inflation. Meanwhile, Manchester United stock jumped by $2.22, or 11%, to $23.34, one of its best days ever, after a report that Qatari investors could bid for the British soccer club.


The stock markets in East Asia and Australia are mainly slightly in the red on Thursday. In Shanghai, the Composite Index gained 0.9 per cent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gains 1.0 per cent. The sub-index of technology stocks is ahead 1.8 per cent. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei 225 index slips only minimally. Support comes from surprisingly good figures presented by car manufacturer Toyota (+0.6%). The company also reaffirmed its profit and sales forecasts.


Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds retreated Wednesday, in another sign of investor interest-rate expectations. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 3.652%, from 3.673% Tuesday. The two-year yield, which is more sensitive to near-term interest-rate expectations, fell to 4.452%, from 4.469%. Yields fall when bond prices rise.


CS raises AMS-Osram target to CHF 7.70 (7.30) – Neutral
CS raises BNP Paribas target to EUR 78 (75) – Outperform
UBS raises BT Group target to 135 (130) p – Neutral

Produced by MBI Martin Brückner Infosource GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of Swissquote. All news is acquired with journalistic accuracy. No liability is assumed for delays or errors.