Swiss Stocks Decline as Swatch, Richemont Lead Exporters LowerAlan Soughley
Stocks in Switzerland retreated, posting their worst week since 2008, after tumbling a day earlier.
Exporters led declines, with the Swiss Market Index falling 6 percent to 7,899.59 at the close of trading in Zurich. The SMI slid the most in 25 years a day earlier after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly ended its three-year-old cap of 1.20 franc per euro. A gauge of Swiss volatility climbed 20 percent today, capping its biggest three-day advance since at least 1999.
The SNB’s decision spurred a record surge in the franc against the single currency and the highest gain in more than three years versus the dollar. A strong franc hurts exporters and companies with factories in Switzerland, where shop-floor workers earn some of the highest wages in Europe.
Swiss exporters fell again today. Watchmakers Cie. Financiere Richemont and Swatch Group AG, which get the majority of their revenue from outside the nation, slid more than 6 percent. Holcim Ltd., the world’s biggest cement manufacturer, dropped 5.4 percent. Roche Holding AG, the largest maker of cancer drugs, retreated 4.8 percent.