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Swiss Market Closes Notably Lower

The Switzerland stock market ended notably lower on Tuesday, in line with the trend across Europe, as worries about valuation and a bit of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery due to surging coronavirus cases hurt sentiment.

The benchmark SMI ended down with a loss of 148.07 points or 1.33% at 10,970.93, slightly off the day's low of 10,959.78. The index advanced to a high of 11,144.83 in opening trades but lost momentum within the next few minutes.

Adecco shares ended more than 5% down after the company, which posted a profit in the first quarter, cautioned that COVID-19 related uncertainties remain elevated.

Temenos lost 3.85% and Credit Suisse shed about 3.3%. UBS declined 2.75%, while Lonza Group, Julius Baer, Alcon and Richemont lost 2 to 2.4%.

Zurich Insurance Group, Swiss Re, Straumann Holding, Roche Holding, ABB, Partners Group, Nestle, Sika and Swiss Life Holding also ended notably lower.

AMS ended stronger by about 1.1%, while Geberit and Logitech closed with modest gains.

On the economic front, Swiss consumer sentiment improved in April as expectations regarding economic outlook turned positive, according to quarterly survey results from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO.

The consumer confidence index rose to -7.1 in April from -14.2 in January. The score has returned approximately to its pre-crisis level of early 2020.

Among components of the index, the gauge measuring households' expectations regarding general economic development climbed to +3.4, the highest value recorded since autumn 2018, from -17.7 points in January.

Increasing likelihood of making major purchases also helped to raise the consumer sentiment index. The corresponding index came in at -13.4 versus -19.6 in the previous quarter.

The index measuring the past financial situation rose to -12.0 from -12.4 and the expected financial situation gained to -6.4 from -7.2 in the preceding period.

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