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Stocks continue slippery ride

The Swiss stock exchange struggled to stay upright on Wednesday and ended in the red for the third consecutive day.

The Swiss Market Index slipped 1.17 per cent to 6,654 points in afternoon trading, with UBS suffering the heaviest losses. The bank’s shares closed at SFr15.70 ($14), down 5.65 per cent or down 32.5 per cent during the past week.

Some analysts believe the pounding the bank has endured after three major financial institutions in the United States collapsed on Monday is unjustified.

“The market selloff on Monday and Tuesday was grossly exaggerated,” Panagiotis Spiliopoulos, a bank analyst with Ventobel, told reporters on Wednesday.

UBS could withstand another $5 billion (SFr5.6 billion) in new writedowns, analysts estimated.

Other losers on Wednesday included Credit Suisse, which ended the day down 2.71 per cent at SFr45.90 a share.

Shares in leading reinsurer Swiss Re closed up 1.76 per cent at SFr55 a share after the Federal Reserve announced an $85 billion emergency rescue package for AIG, the world’s largest insurer.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR