The Swiss stock market ended Monday's session with a modest gain, despite investor concerns over the situation in Italy. The market was under pressure in early trading, but recovered in the afternoon and closed only about 5 points shy of its annual high of 6,949 points.
Italy's technocratic Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced over the weekend that he has decided to resign after Italy's 2013 budget is approved. Monti lost the support of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi's PDL party last week. New elections are likely to take place in February and Berlusconi has indicated that he would run for the premiership.
The Swiss Market Index increased by 0.27 percent Monday and finished at 6,943.90. The Swiss Leader Index climbed by 0.16 percent and the Swiss Performance Index gained 0.25.
Roche was the top gainer among the defensive heavyweights, with an increase of 1.1 percent. The company presented positive data on breast cancer treatment with Perjeta at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium over the weekend. Novartis climbed by 0.3 percent and Nestle added 0.1 percent.
Luxury goods companies Richemont and Swatch were also among the gainers. Richemont rose by 1.2 percent and Swatch gained 0.6 percent. Over the weekend, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek reiterated earlier statements that the company is on track to achieve record sales for the current year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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