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Swiss stock market takes a beating

The Swiss exchange plummeted on Thursday Keystone

The Swiss stock market fell to a two-and-a-half year low on Thursday after losing 5.6 per cent during the course of the day to close at 6.574 points.

This content was published on March 23, 2001 - 08:37

Analysts said Zurich Financial Service's dismal results for 2000 played a role in the market's fall.

Zurich, which is Europe's sixth biggest insurance company, lost a fifth of its market capitalisation after posting the results on Thursday. The group's shares plummeted by 20.2 per cent with a closing price of SFr549.

Switzerland wasn't the only country to see its stock market take a beating, however. Most of Europe's big markets were down four per cent or more on Thursday.

European shares slumped to fresh 17-month lows when the year long tech chill spread deep into blue chip territory as investors reacted sharply to fears of an economic slowdown in the United States.

The pan-European Eurotop 300 index of the region's top 300 companies was down by 4.2 per cent at 1,277.61 points when most markets shut.

It was the lowest level since mid-October 1999 - just before the massive rally in techs, media and telecoms started.

swissinfo with agencies

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