Swiss Market Ends Slightly Higher; Alcon Soars On Results

Despite staying weak for much of the day's session, the Switzerland stock market managed to close slightly higher on Wednesday thanks to some strong buying at a few counters during the final minutes.

The benchmark SMI, which dropped to a low of 11,408.96 around mid afternoon, ended the session with a gain of 11.94 points or 0.1% at 11,553.66.

Alcon rallied 9.2% after reporting diluted earnings per share of $0.34 in the quarter ended March 2022, compared to $0.17 in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 14% to $2.2 billion in the January-March 2022 quarter.

Richemont surged up 5.4%. Partners Group gained nearly 4%, while UBS Group, Logitech, Credit Suisse and Nestle advanced up 1.5 to 2.1%.

Swiss Re, Novartis, Holcim, Lonza Group, SGS and Zurich Insurance Group also ended notably higher.

Roche Holding shares plunged nearly 7% after the company said that its experimental cancer immunotherapy directed against a target called TIGIT suffered its second consecutive setback, failing this time to slow tumor growth in a large study involving the most common type of lung cancer.

In the Mid Price Index, Zur Rose soared nearly 10%. Swatch Group climbed 5.6%. Straumann Holding, Temenos Group, Tecan Group and AMS gained 3.6 to 4.5%.

Julius Baer, VAT Group, Dufry, BB Biotech, Swiss Prime Site, Sonova, Clariant, Cembra Money Bank and PSP Swiss Property advanced 1.8 to 2.6%.

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