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Stock exchange ends 2009 on steady note

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) of 20 blue-chip companies has weathered the turbulent global economic year and ended on a sound note, up nearly 20 per cent across 2009.

The SMI hit a six-year low at 4,234.96 points on March 9 but increased by 55 per cent in the following nine months. It remained steady at around 6,600 points at the end of the year, closing on Wednesday slightly down at 6,525.91 points.

After finding themselves among the ten biggest losers of 2008, Swiss Life and Credit Suisse saw their share value soar by around 75 per cent in 2009. Swatch also rose by three-quarters. On the other side, Oerlikon share value fell by 60 per cent.

Looking ahead to 2010, analysts predicted a positive first quarter. Julius Bär analyst Christian Gattiker said the index should approach 7,000 points before setting at around 6,600 points by the end of the year. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR