Swiss Market Snaps 5-day Winning Streak

(RTTNews) - The Switzerland stock market ended slightly below the unchanged line on Tuesday, snapping a five-day winning streak, as the mood was a bit cautious after data showed an increase in consumer price inflation.

Most of the markets across Europe ended with solid gains, with recent strong factory data out of the U.S. and China helped keep sentiment upbeat.

The benchmark SMI index ended down 1.54 points, or 0.016%, at 9,536.57, after scaling a low of 9,509.39 and a high of 9,550.69 in the session.

Julius Baer, Swisscom, SGS, Swiss RE, ABB, Credit Suisse and Swiss Life Holding gained 0.7 to 1%.

Novartis declined 1.2%. The drugmaker will be facing a U.S. government lawsuit in a case related to alleged payment of millions of dollars in kickbacks to doctors so they would prescribe its drugs. According to reports, a federal judge ruled in a decision that the government had offered evidence of a "company-wide kickback scheme."

Adecco and LafargeHolcim ended lower by 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Switzerland's consumer price inflation rose 0.7% year-on-year in March after rising 0.6% in each of the previous two months. Economists had expected the inflation rate to ease to 0.5%.

Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose 0.5% in March, after a 0.4% increase in February. Economists had expected the monthly inflation to remain at 0.4%. In December, prices fell 0.3%.

The monthly increase of 0.5% was mainly due to several factors including rise in prices for package holidays abroad and in air transport, while the prices for fruit vegetables and berries declined.

The core inflation which excludes fresh and seasonal products, energy and fuel rose 0.5% annually and by the same rate from a month ago.

The EU measure of harmonized index of consumer price, or HICP, rose 0.7% year-on-year in March and grew 0.3% from the previous month.

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