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Swiss stock market takes a beating

The Swiss exchange plummeted on Thursday


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.

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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