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Swiss Market Ends Notably Lower As Trade Optimism Fades

The Switzerland stock market ended notably lower on Tuesday as the mood stayed bearish right through the session amid waning optimism about upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

Hopes about the upcoming high level trade negotiations between the U.S. and China making any significant progress have faded after reports said China is toning down expectations ahead of the high-level discussions with the U.S.

The benchmark SMI ended down 113.82 points, or 1.15%, at 9,800.24. Save for a few minutes a little while after the opening bell, the index was down in negative territory in Tuesday's session. It touched a low of 9,779.45 intraday.

On Monday, the SMI ended up by 0.88%, after having gained 0.69% a session earlier.

Swatch Group and LafargeHolcim declined 2.4% and 2.2%, respectively. Sika, Adecco, SGS, Alcon and Roche Holding eased 1.4 to 1.8%.

Lonza Group, Geberit, UBS Group, Givaudan, Swiss Re, Nestle, ABB and Zurich Insurance Group also ended notably lower.

Novartis announced that it has received approval from USFDA for its Beovu drug to treat a cause of vision loss. The stock ended lower by about 1.4%

In the midcap space, AMS and VAT Group declined 5.2% and 5%, respectively. BB Biotech, Schindler Holding, Buher Industries and Dufry ended lower by 2 to 2.4%.

Dorma Kaba Holding, Logitech International, Kuehne & Nagel, OC Oerlikon Group, Georg Fischer and Ems Chemie Holding also declined sharply.

In economic news, Switzerland's jobless rate remained stable in September, data from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, showed on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.3% in September, the same rate as seen in August. On an unadjusted basis too, the jobless rate held steady, at 2.1%.

The number of unemployed decreased by 454 persons from the previous month to 99,098 in September. Compared to the previous year, unemployment decreased by 7,488 persons.

The jobless rate among youth aged between 15 and 24, fell to 2.4% in September from 2.5% in the previous month, the data showed.

In trade related news, the South China Morning Post said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is leading China's delegation to Washington but will not carry the title of "special envoy" for President Xi Jinping, an early indication that Liu has not been given any particular instructions from China's leader.

News that the U.S. has expanded its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence firms may also cast a shadow over the talks along with a Bloomberg report the White House is discussing blocking government pension funds from investing in China.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has blacklisted 28 Chinese organizations, including government and commercial entities, that are accused of violating human rights and committing abuses, targeting Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

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