The Swiss stock market retained a portion of its early gains on Friday. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged the continued challenges facing the U.S. economy on Friday, but did not specifically outline new monetary policy easing in a closely watched speech. Many investors had been hoping that the Fed Chief would announce a third round of quantitative easing.
There were also some mixed economic results from the U.S. in the afternoon. While factory orders came in better than expected and the consumer sentiment result was upwardly revised, the Chicago business barometer slowed by more than economists had been anticipating.
The Swiss Market Index rose by 0.15 percent Friday and closed at 6,388.01. The SMI finished the week with a decline of 1.4 percent. The Swiss Leader Index increased by 0.43 percent Friday and the Swiss Performance Index gained 0.19 percent.
Financial stocks were largely positive after reports of a bond purchase program from the European Central Bank. Credit Suisse climbed by 3.2 percent and UBS added 1.2 percent. However, Julius Baer finished lower by 1.1 percent.
Cyclicals were also among the positive performers Friday. Lonza rose by 2.1 percent, Adecco gained 1.9 percent and Sonova increased by 1.7 percent. Clariant climbed by 1.3 percent and Holcim added 0.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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