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Swiss Stocks Extend Winning Streak

The Switzerland stock market ended on a positive note on Thursday, once again bucking the weak trend seen across Europe, thanks strong earnings reported by UBS.

The benchmark SMI ended up 38.39 points, or 0.4%, at 9,694.06, despite seeing a couple of brief spells in negative territory.

On Wednesday, the index ended up 20.60 points, or 0.21%, at 9,655.67, after having scored a gain of 0.67% a session earlier.

The UBS Group shares gained 1.25%. The lender reported a net profit of $1.14 billion for the first quarter of 2019. Though the profit was down 27% compared to year-ago quarter, it still beat forecasts by a significant margin. The bank's own consensus had pointed to a $902 million bottomline.

Alcon gained 3.5%. Novartis advanced by 2.7% and Credit Suisse gained 1.1%.

Richemont shares declined by 1.7% and Swatch Group shed about 1.2%. Roche Holding, LafargeHolcim and SGS ended lower by 0.6 to 0.9%.

Shares of freight-forwarding company Kuehne Und Nagel International gained more than 2% lifted by a 2.5% surge in the company's first quarter core earnings.

The Swiss National Bank reported a first-quarter profit of 30.7 billion Swiss francs, highlighting the volatility its massive balance sheet creates for the central bank's earnings.

Julius Baer has launched a wealth management joint venture with Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand. Shares of Julius Baer declined by about 0.4% today.

Panalpina Welttransport Holding shares gained 1.2% after the company said it will acquire Colombian company Cargomaster S.A. and Laseair S.A. in Ecuador.

Among other major markets in Europe, the U.K., Germany and France ended modestly lower, with their benchmarks FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 declining by 0.5%, 0.25% and 0.33%, respectively. The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.21%.

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