Swiss Market Ends Modestly Lower
(RTTNews) - The Switzerland stock market ended lower on Thursday, after spending much of the day's session in the negative territory.
After a weak start, the market recovered and stayed positive for a couple of hours from mid morning to early afternoon, but edged lower as the session progressed to eventually close weak.
Lingering concerns about global economic slowdown and trade uncertainty weighed even as there was some positive news on the Brexit front with the U.K. and the EU agreeing on a draft deal for the U.K.'s exit from the EU.
The benchmark SMI ended down 23.55 points, or 0.23%, at 10,008.94, after scaling a low of 10,002.65 and a high of 10,096.48 in the session.
On Wednesday, the SMI ended down 16.26 points, or 0.16%, at 10,032.49, after rising 0.85% a session earlier.
Nestle ended nearly 2% down. The company announced a new share buyback programme of up to 20 billion Swiss francs ($20.13 billion). It also announced changes to its waters business following its organic sales growth slowing to 3.7% in the third quarter.
Credit Suisse shed about 1.1%, while UBS, Addeco, Swisscom and Swatch Group declined 0.5 to 0.8%.
Swiss Life Holding, Roche Holding, Alcon, Sika, Richemont and LafargeHolcim gained 0.5 to 1.1%.
In the midcap section, software stock Temenos plunged more than 15% on weak results.
VAT Group declined 3.2%, while BB Biotech, AMS and Lindt & Sp ended lower by 1.4 to 2%.
Shares of Sonova gained about 1.6%. PSP Swiss Property, Partners Group and Swiss Prime Site posted modest gains.
In economic news, data released by the Federal Customs Administration showed Switzerland's exports rebounded in September, rising 2.5% month-on-month, after a 3.9% fall in August. This was the first increase in three months.
On a monthly basis, imports fell 1.3% in September, reversing a 1.4% growth in the previous month.
Exports fell 1% sequentially in the third quarter, following a 0.9% decrease in the previous quarter.
On a quarterly basis, imports were up 0.5% in the third quarter, following a 0.9% growth in the preceding quarter.
The trade surplus deceased to CHF 5.9 billion in the third quarter compared to CHF 6.3 billion in the prior quarter.
Meanwhile, data from the Federation of Watch Exporters (FHS) said Switzerland's watch exports grew sharply by 10.2% year-on-year in September.
The biggest contribution to the growth of watch exports came from precious metal and bimetal watches in September. Meanwhile, other materials and other metals and steel had a negative effect on the exports.
Exports to markets such as the U.S., China, Japan, Singapore and UK grew, while those to Hong Kong decreased, the data showed.