The Switzerland stock market ended on a strong note on Wednesday as optimism over a coronavirus vaccine helped outweigh reports showing a surge in new cases of infections in the country.
A firm trend in other European markets and positive cues from the U.S. contributed as well to the steady rise in prices during the course of the day’s session.
The benchmark SMI ended with a strong gain of 171.58 points or 1.66% at 10,532.27. The index, which opened flat, went on to hit a high of 10,558.63 intraday, staying firmly up right through the session after a gradual climb in morning trades.
The market had ended with moderate losses on Tuesday, after scoring gains in the previous seven sessions.
Lonza Group, Alcon and Sika gained about 3% each. Roche Holding shares surged up 2.8%, while Novartis, SGS, Nestle and Richemont gained 1.5 to 2%.
Geberit advanced 1.3%, while Partners Group, UBS Group, Givaudan and Zurich Insurance Group gained 0.75 to 1.1%.
Swiss Re shed about 1.3%, while Swiss Life Holding and LafargeHolcim ended modestly lower.
In the midcap section, Logitech spurted 6.6% and Tecan Group moved up 5.3%. AMS advanced 2.56%, while Schindler Ps, Kuehne & Nagel, BB Biotech and Schindler Holding gained 1 to 1.6%.
On the other hand, Cembra Money Bank slipped nearly 2.5%, while Georg Fischer, Vifor Pharma and Adecco lost 1.85 to 2%. Helvetia slid 1.5%, while Dufry and Sonova lost 1.2% and 1%, respectively.
In Covid-19 news, data from Swiss health authorities showed coronavirus infections in Switzerland rose by 8,270 cases in a day. Total confirmed cases in Switzerland and neighbouring principality Liechtenstein increased to 243,472 and the death toll rose by 86 to 2,769, the data showed.
Meanwhile, Switzerland has reserved 16 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines, the government said today. It announced a new 3.2 million-dose reservation with a World Health Organization-led programme and a tentative 3 million-dose pact with Pfizer and BioNTech.
Switzerland reportedly hopes to start vaccinating some time in the first half of 2021. The government had previously reserved nearly 10 million doses of prospective vaccines from Moderna and AstraZeneca and has now set aside 400 million Swiss francs ($435.92 million) for purchases.
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