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Swiss Market Extends Winning Streak

The Switzerland stock market ended on a firm note on Thursday, extending gains to a fourth straight session, with some encouraging earnings reports aiding sentiment.

The benchmark SMI, which rallied to 10.041.86 from an early low of 9,898.00, ended with a gain of 68.14 points, or 0.69%, at 10,010.15.

On Wednesday, the index gained 0.93%, after adding 0.43% and 0.47% in the previous two sessions.

Novartis shares rose 3.1% after the company lifted full-year sales and profit targets, citing innovative medicine sales and higher revenues from slimmed-down Sandoz generics in markets outside the United States.

Richemont advanced 1.13% after it reported a 9% jump in comparable revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Roche Holding ended nearly 1% up. Swatch Group, Zurich Insurance Group, LafargeHolcim, Nestle and Swisscom gained 0.35 to 0.55%.

Shares of fragrance and flavor products manufacturer Givaudan tumbled after the company reported lower margins from recently acquired Naturex.

SGS ended lower by about 4% after the company announced that it would be streamlining its businesses during the second half of 2019. The company said its adjusted operating income rose 5.4% to 489 million Swiss francs on constant currency basis in the first half of 2019.

ABB, Sika, UBS Group, Lonza Group and Alcon also closed on a weak note.

On the economic front, Switzerland's exports decreased marginally in June amid a faster growth in imports, data from the Federal Customs Administration showed.

Exports dropped by real 0.1% on month in June, but slower than the 0.4% decrease logged in May. Meanwhile, growth in imports improved to 1.4% from 0.8% in May.

In nominal terms, exports grew 8.5% in June, while imports fell 0.8% from previous month. As a result, the trade surplus rose to CHF 3.25 billion in June from CHF 1.5 billion in the previous month.

In the second quarter, exports grew 1.4% and imports gained 0.2%, taking the trade surplus to CHF 6.8 billion.

Separate data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry showed that watch exports logged a double-digit decline of 10.7% in June. The first half of 2019, however, ended with an increase of 1.4%.

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