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Swiss Market Ends Sharply Lower

The Switzerland stock market ended sharply lower on Thursday, in line with the trend seen across global markets, amid rising worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The overall mood was so bearish due to mounting concerns about growth outlook that stronger-than-expected first-half results from UBS and Credit Suisse failed to trigger any significant buying in even frontline stocks.

This content was published on July 30, 2020 - 10:27July 30, 2020 - 10:27

The benchmark SMI plunged to 10,007.85 in late afternoon trades before finally settling at 10,095.34, losing 177.47 points or 1.73%.

On Wednesday, the index index ended down 4.39 points or 0.04% at 10,272.81 after scaling a low of 10,242.20 and a high of 10,295.52 in the session.

Swiss Re slid 4.3%. Swiss Life Holding, Zurich Insurance Group and Alcon lost 3.5 to 3.8%. LafargeHolcim, Sika, Adecco, ABB, UBS Group and Roche Holding ended lower by 2 to 2.7%.

Credit Suisse, Geberit, Richemont and Swisscom also declined sharply. Nestle turned weak after staying positive early on in the session. The food and beverage giant reported earnings per share increased by 22.2% to CHF 2.06. Underlying earnings per share increased by 0.5% in constant currency and decreased by 5.9% on a reported basis to CHF 2.01.

In the midcap section, Dufry closed nearly 5% down. Helvetia ended lower by about 4%. AMS, Temenos Group, Baloise Holding, Julius Baer, Vifor Pharma, Sonova, Straumann Holding, Ems Chemie Holding and Partners Group lost 1.5 to 3.4%.

On the other hand, Lindt & Sp Ps and Bucher Industries gained 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively.

The other major markets in Europe too ended sharply lower as stocks plunged due to a heavy sell-off as worries about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic mounted after data showed a sharp contraction in U.S. GDP, and on the Federal Reserve's weak outlook for the economy.

Data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed real gross domestic product plummeted at an annual rate of 32.9% in the second quarter following a 5% slump in the first quarter. Economists had expected a 34.1% nosedive in GDP.

A report from the Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged up to 1.434 million in the week ended July 25th, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,422,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 1.450 million from the 1.416 million originally reported for the previous week.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 2.31%, France's CAC 40 declined 2.13% and Germany's DAX plunged 3.45%. The pan European Stoxx 600 tumbled 2.16%.

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