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Swiss Market Ends Weak On Growth Worries

The Switzerland stock market ended weak on Tuesday, in line with the trend seen across Europe, amid concerns about the economic impact of rising coronavirus cases in several countries and tighter restrictions on movements.

The benchmark SMI ended down 44.30 points or 0.41% at 10,694.09, after falling to a low of 10,671.28. The index hit a high of 10,793.60 a little past noon.

Givaudan, Swatch Group, Roche Holding, Richemont and Partners Group lost 1 to 1.4%. SGS ended nearly 1% down, while Nestle, Swisscom, Geberit and Novartis ended lower by 0.5 to 0.8%.

Lonza Group shares advanced by about 1.7%, while Credit Suisse, UBS Group and ABB gained 1 to 1.25%.

Among the stocks in the Mid Price Index, Tecan Group, Clariant, SIG Combibloc, Ems Chemie Holding and Schindler Ps lost 1 to 1.75%.

On the other hand, Temenos Group and AMS both ended stronger by about 2.3%. Dufry, PSP Swiss Property and Helvetia ended with modest gains.

On the economic front, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed the consumer price index decreased 0.8% year-on-year in December, following a 0.7% fall in November. Economists had expected a 0.7% fall.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% decline in the preceding month. This was in line with economists' expectation.

The core CPI fell 0.4% annually in December and declined 0.1% from the previous month. The EU measure of harmonized index of consumer prices rose 0.1% monthly in December and declined 1% from the previous year.

In updates about coronavirus spread in Switzerland, a Reuters report, citing Swiss health officials shows the country has recorded 28 documented cases of COVID-19 infections caused by an especially infectious variant of the new coronavirus that has been circulating rapidly in Britain.

Swiss ministers are likely to give an update on partial lockdown measures on Wednesday.

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