Zurich (hooly-news.com) – The Swiss stock market closed higher on Friday, maintaining gains throughout the session. If the Swiss market continued to challenge growing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on the global economic situation, Wall Street still seemed to hesitate in the morning, while the upward revision of cases of contamination with this new virus in China had weighed down the atmosphere on Thursday.
On the New York Stock Exchange, still vigilant against the coronavirus and digesting several American economic statistics, the Dow Jones index remained in balance, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 advanced. No one really knows how serious the epidemic is and how far it could spread, “said Nate Thooft of Manulife Asset Management.
China announced on Thursday more than 15,000 additional coronavirus contaminations. This record increase is attributed to a new, broader definition of infection, depicting a more serious epidemic than previously reported.
On the macroeconomic front, retail sales in the United States rose 0.3% in January compared to the previous month, growth in line with analysts’ expectations. While the particularly mild weather supported construction sales, it weighed on American industrial production, which contracted by 0.3%, also due to the stoppage of production of the Boeing 737 MAX, aircraft star of the American aircraft manufacturer.
On this side of the Atlantic, the German economy ended 2019 in stagnation, still affected by industry. Annual growth last year was confirmed at 0.6%, which remains the worst performance since 2013, while the first quarter of 2020 looks complicated with the expected effects of the epidemic of the new coronavirus.
The SMI ended the session up 0.33% to 11,128.81 points, after posting a plus of the day at 11,152.27 points, the lowest of the day being below the 11 ‘ 100 points to 11,078.95 points. The SLI gained 0.31% to 1,710.88 points, while the broad indicator SPI advanced 0.48% to 13,419.95 points. Among the 30 star stocks, eleven were toasting, while Swatch Group, all the others taking points.
Schindler (-2.8%), long red lantern, left the last position to the still volatile AMS (-3.3%). The Lucerne-based manufacturer of elevators and escalators posted a net profit decline last year, below market expectations. The Board of Directors will however propose an unchanged dividend of 4 Swiss francs per security.
The day’s losers also included heavyweight Roche (-1.2%), Swatch Group (-0.6%), Lonza (-0.5%) and Geberit (-0.4%). Weighing on the star value index, the Basel pharmaceutical giant announced that it had obtained approval in China for its anticancer drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab), in combination with chemotherapy, in the indication in the first line of treatment for lung cancer in small cells at an extended stage.
Another heavyweight on the rating, Nestlé rebounded (+ 2.7%). Veveysan, world number one in food, even posted the best performance, the day after a dark day after the publication of its 2019 results.
Temenos (+ 1.3%) and Sonova (+ 1.3%) supported Nestlé among the winners of the day, followed by Zurich Insurance (+ 1%) and Clariant (+ 0.9%), which also announced their results for 2019, and SGS (+ 0.9%). The Geneva specialist in certification and inspection plans to buy back his own securities for up to 200 million Swiss francs, which represents around 1% of his share capital.
The bankers, after having held out much of the session, let go somewhat taken at the end of the day, UBS (-0.3%) even ending in the red. Credit Suisse nevertheless took 0.5% and Julius Bär 0.9%.
UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti would like to leave his managerial chair this year and have informed the governing bodies, the Bloomberg news agency said on Thursday, relying properly on sources said to be close to the case. The establishment has already started to look for a successor internally and externally.
At the broader market level, LM holding (+ 3.4%), owner of Lastminute.com, published strong annual growth results. Wisekey (-4.6%) stood out as the loser of the session. Leonteq (+ 10.4%) was among the winners.
vj / en