The Swiss Market Index (SMI) has reached the key 8,000 mark. After a lacklustre start to trading, a stronger open on the New York market finally pushed the key Swiss blue chip index through the psychologically important barrier.
At the close in Zurich on Monday, the SMI was up more than 100 points to 8009. It is now well above its year-low of 6,739, but remains far short of its all-time high of 8,489 reached in July 1998.
The next key level for the market is the 8,050 level, although in the current volatile trading conditions, shares could pull back sharply if profit-taking sets in.
In a quiet start to the trading day, the Swiss market was lifted by solid advances in blue chips such as Nestlé, ABB and Swatch.
Swatch group shares outshone other blue chip stocks, gaining more than 2 per cent at one stage. The shares rose after the Swatch chairman, Nicolas Hayek, revealed in a newspaper interview that first half sales at the company were up about 20 per cent.
ABB also regained some ground following last week's half-year report, which received mixed reviews from investors.
However, trading volume in Swatch and other stocks has been thin, due to the ongoing holiday season. Small share trades have been accounting for larger than normal movements in prices.
swissinfo with agencies
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