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Swiss Market Ends On Positive Note

Despite a weak start and a subsequent long sluggish spell, the Switzerland stock market ended on a firm note on Monday with investors making some brisk purchases at a few top counters in the final hour.

Worries about the coronavirus outbreak in China and its impact on the global economy weighted on sentiment.

According to reports, the coronavirus has infected more than 40,600 people globally.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced concern over the spread from people with no travel history to China, saying "we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg."

The benchmark SMI, which edged down to 10,963.52 in early trades, ended the session with a gain of 38.25 points, or 0.35%, at 11,039.78, the day's high.

Lonza Group and Swatch Group gained 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively. Sika, Novartis, Geberit, Zurich Insurance and Richemont ended higher by 0.6 to 1%.

Credit Susse also ended notably lower. According to reports, the bank's Chairman Urs Rohner said that he does not expect to be voted out of office before his term ends. Tidjane Thiam, who served as the Chief Executive of the bank, will depart from the bank this week over a spying scandal.

Roche Holding said it's experimental drug gantenerumab failed to slow cognitive decline in people with a rare inherited form of Alzheimer's disease.

In the midcap section, Julius Baer gained nearly 4.5% and AMS rallied 4%.

Sunrise Communications, Dorma Kaba Holding and Vifor Pharma ended higher by 1 to 1.6%. Straumann Holding, Georg Fischer, Sonova, Schindler Ps, PSP Swiss Property and Swiss Prime Site gained 0.75% to 1%.

In economic news, Switzerland's consumer price inflation remained stable in January, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed.

The consumer price index rose 0.2% year-on-year in January, same as in December. This was in line with economists' expectation.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.2% in January, after remaining unchanged in the previous month. This was also in line with economists' expectation.

The monthly decline was due to a decrease in prices of clothing and footwear due to seasonal sales and for medicines and international package holidays. Meanwhile, prices for hotel accommodation and cars increased.

The core inflation was 0.2% in January. Economists had expected a 0.4%. On a month-on-month basis, the core CPI declined 0.5% in January.

The EU measure of harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP fell 0.4% monthly in January. Economists had expected a 0.1% rise. The HICP rose 0.2% monthly in January. Economists had expected a fall of 0.1%.

Separately, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, reported that the jobless rate remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 2.3% in January.

On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate rose to 2.6% in January from 2.5% in the prior month. This was in line with economists' expectations.

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