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The Swiss Stock Market Dropped To Its Lowest Level Since April

The Swiss stock market ended Thursday's session solidly in negative territory and closed at its lowest level since April 2017. The market has declined eight of the last nine trading days, with only yesterday's countermove as the exception.

The weak open on Wall Street weighed on the Swiss market in the afternoon. The volatility index was also high, with increased selling pressure towards the end of trading session.

The Swiss Market Index decreased by 2.36 percent Thursday and finished at 8,763.11. The Swiss Leader Index dropped 2.41 percent and the Swiss Performance Index also lost 2.41 percent.

Swiss Re advanced 2.1 percent amid reports that Japan's Softbank is in talks to acquire a stake in the reinsurer.

Zurich Insurance Group reported a full year 2017 profit that topped forecasts. The stock was up for much of the day, but finished lower by 0.4 percent.

Shares of ABB sank 6.7 percent after it reported weaker than expected fourth quarter earnings. Order intake and sales decreased on a like-for-like basis.

Lonza weakened by 4.3 percent and Vifor surrendered 3.9 percent. Credit Suisse also finished down by 4.0 percent.

The index heavyweights all finished solidly in the red. Novartis and Nestlé dropped by 2.5 percent each and Roche fell 1.3 percent.

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