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Swiss Market Slips In The Final Hour, Ends Moderately Lower

The Switzerland stock market ended lower on Friday, despite staying positive till the penultimate hour. Worries about global growth in the wake of reports showing spikes in new coronavirus cases in several parts of U.S. and in many other countries weighed on stocks.

The benchmark SMI ended down 47.92 points or 0.47% at 10,041.91, after hitting a high of 10,172.15 and a low of 10,018.20 in the session.

Novartis declined by about 1.6%. According to reports, Novartis and its former Alcon eye-care unit will pay more than $346 million to resolve U.S. criminal and civil charges that they bribed doctors, hospitals and clinics in Greece and Vietnam to prescribe their drugs and use their surgical products.

Swatch Group, Swiss Life Holding, Swiss Re, Roche Holding, Sika, Richemont and Swisscom ended lower by 0.5 to 0.8%.

Alcon gained more than 2.5% and Adecco moved up 1.6%, while LafargeHolcim, Givaudan and Lonza Group closed with modest gains.

In the midcap section, Dufry declined nearly 6.5%. AMS ended 1.7% down on reports Austria's financial markets watchdog FMA is investigating AMS' top management on suspicion of illegal share transactions during the ongoing takeover of Osram. The company, however, has rejected the allegations.

Helvetia and Dorma Kaba Holding both ened lower by about 1%, while Vifor Pharma lost 0.7%.

Among the other major markets, Germany and France closed weak, while the U.K. ended marginally up.

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