Swiss Market Ends On Firm Note

The Switzerland stock market ended on a firm note on Friday, in line with the trend across Europe, amid continued optimism about a fairly strong economic rebound.

Data showing a drop in Swiss unemployment in April aided sentiment.

The benchmark SMI, faltered and briefly slipped into negative territory after a positive start, but recovered well and eventually ended with a gain of 62.47 points or 0.56% at 11,173.57, the day's high.

Alcon shares gained 2.75%. Swatch Group climbed 2.3%, while Partners Group, Zurich Insurance Group, Roche Holding and Swiss Life Holding gained 1.2 to 1.4%.

Richemont ended nearly 1% up, while SGS, Sika, Swiss Re, Novartis and Lonza Group gained 0.5 to 0.8%.

LafargeHolcim ended lower by about 3.4%. Credit Suisse and Swisscom posted modest losses.

Among the stocks in the Mid Price Index, Logitech rallied 3.3%. VAT Group, AMS, Tecan Group and SIG Combibloc gained 2 to 2.8%, while Sonova, Temenos Group, Adecco, BB Biotech, Georg Fischer and Helvetia moved up 1.4 to 1.9%.

Data released by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland's jobless rate decreased in April, falling to 3.1% from 3.3% in the previous month. Economists had expected a rate of 3.3%.

On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in April from 3.4% in the previous month. This was in line with economists' expectation. The number of registered unemployed declined to 151,279 in April from 157,968 in the preceding month.

The unemployment rate among the youth aged between 15 and 24, decreased to 2.7% in April from 3% in the prior month.

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