The Swiss stock market extended its recent gains on Friday, thanks in part to the better than expected U.S. jobs report for November. The market reached a new high for the year of 6,941 points during the session, but pared its gains in late trading. The market gained nearly 1.5 percent for the week and is now approaching the 7,000 point mark, which it last reached in September of 2008.
Employment in the U.S. increased by much more than anticipated in the month of November. The unemployment rate also dropped to 7.7 percent, surprising economists, who had expected the rate to edge up to 8.0 percent. However, consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly deteriorated in the month of December.
The Swiss Market Index increased by 0.19 percent Friday and finished at 6,925.25. The Swiss Leader Index climbed by 0.12 percent and the Swiss Performance Index added 0.19 percent.
Julius Baer was one of the best performing stocks at the end of the trading week, with a gain of 2.2 percent. Credit Suisse reinitiated the stock with an ''Outperform'' rating. Syngenta rose by 0.4 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to ''Neutral'' from ''Underweight.''
The 0.9 percent gain by pharmaceutical heavyweight Roche provided strong support to the overall market. The company is expected to report data from a Phase III trial of breast cancer drug Perjeta over the weekend. Novartis finished with a gain of 0.2 percent, but Nestle finished unchanged.
by RTT Staff Writer
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