External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

(Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Switzerland slumped after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly gave up its minimum exchange rate today, ending a three-year-old policy designed to shield the economy from the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis.

The Swiss Market Index fell 6.7 percent to 8,584.19 at 11:25 a.m. in Zurich. The benchmark dropped as much as 8 percent, the biggest intraday percentage decline since October 2008, a month after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, starting the financial crisis.

Holcim Ltd., the world’s biggest cement maker, slid as much as 21 percent, leading a decline in exporters. Watchmakers Cie. Financiere Richemont SA and Swatch Group AG tumbled more than 9 percent. Transocean Ltd., the world’s largest offshore-rig contractor, fell as much as 22 percent.

“We did not think it would be so quick,” said Pierre Mouton, who helps oversee $8 billion at Notz, Stucki & Cie. in Geneva, in a phone interview. “Nevertheless we’ve been thinking that at some point the SNB should abandon this peg, which became insane.”

In a surprise move, the central bank lowered the interest rate on sight deposit account balances that exceed a given exemption threshold to minus 0.75 percent from minus 0.25 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net Thomas Mulier, Namitha Jagadeesh

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters

WEF 2018

WEF Teaser 2018