(RTTNews.com) - The Swiss stock market ended Wednesday's session with a small loss ahead of today's announcement from the Federal Reserve. The market got off to a strong start today, but pared its gains over the course of the session due to investor caution ahead of the Fed's decision. The weak performance of the index heavyweights also dragged the market lower.
The Bank of Japan modified its existing policy framework, giving thrust to the yield curve as it still struggles to achieve the 2 percent inflation target. The announcement proved beneficial for financial and bank stocks across Europe. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is not expected to make any change to interest rates later today, but traders will keep a close eye on the accompanying statement.
The Swiss Market Index decreased 0.13 percent Wednesday and finished at 8,226.47. The SMI reached an intraday high of 8,289 points. The Swiss Leader Index rose 0.05 percent, but the Swiss Performance Index slipped 0.06 percent.
Givauden and Kuehne + Nagel both surrendered 0.8 percent each. Shares of Galenica finished lower by 1.1 percent.
The index heavyweights all finished in the red Wednesday. Novartis and Roche both decreased by 0.4 percent each, while NestlÃ© fell 0.3 percent.
Jewelery and luxury watch manufacturer Richemont dropped 2.2 percent after it began trading on an ex-dividend basis. Meanwhile, its peer Swatch rose 0.5 percent.
Financial stocks turned in a strong performance following the decision by the Bank of Japan. Credit Suisse increased 1.5 percent and UBS advanced 0.8 percent. Among the insurers, Baloise and Swiss Re both climbed by 1.0 percent.
Zurich Insurance Group gained 0.1 percent. The company announced that it would combine its corporate and commercial businesses into a single global business as part of its process to simplify and strengthen its organization.
ABB gained 0.4 percent after it sold its high-voltage cabling business to NKT Cables.
In the broad market, battery manufacturer LeclanchÃ© surged 4.6 percent after it entered into a strategic partnership with British company North Star Solar.
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