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Swiss Market Ends Sharply Higher

The Switzerland stock market ended on a buoyant note on Monday, in line with the trend seen across Europe, after data revealed signs of a slowdown in new coronavirus infections and fatalities in some of the hot spots in the region.

According to reports the death toll due to the virus outbreak fell to the lowest level in over two weeks on Sunday. Spain too reported lower cases of infections and deaths over the weekend.

With 525 deaths in 24 hours, Italy on Sunday recorded its lowest death rate in the last 24 hours.

Spain, which has seen the rate of new infections and deaths slow in recent days, said it plans to widen coronavirus testing to include people without symptoms.

France's health ministry said Sunday that the daily death toll from the coronavirus fell in the past 24 hours and admissions into intensive care also slowed.

According to Swiss health ministry, the Swiss coronavirus death toll rose by 19 to 559 on Sunday with confirmed cases topping 21,000. Earlier, the government said on Saturday that a quarter of Switzerland's workers have been put on shorter hours as companies seek to limit the financial damage of the coronavirus epidemic.

The benchmark SMI, which stayed firm right through the session, ended up 219.90 points, or 2.38%, at 9,462.34.

On Friday, the SMI ended down 28.52 points, or 0.31%, after a choppy ride.

Swatch Group shares climbed up 7.3%. UBS Group spurted 6.7%, while LafargeHolcim, Alcon, Credit Suisse, Swiss Life Holding and ABB ended stronger by 5.3 to 6%.

Richemont, Adecco and Swiss Re gained 4.9%, 4.8% and 4%, respectively. Sika, Novartis, Nestle and Zurich Insurance Group also closed sharply higher.

In the midcap section, Dufry zoomed 8.65% and Julius Baer ended 8.35% up. Helvetia, OC Oerlikon Corp, Flughafen Zurich and AMS gained 6.75% - 8%. Partners Group, Clariant, Baloise Holding and Sonova also ended sharply higher.

Among the other major indices in Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 firmed up 3.08%, Germany's DAX surged up 5.77%, France's CAC 40 advanced 4.61% and Switzerland's SMI gained 2.38%. The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed up 3.73%.

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