The business week ahead

The Swiss stock market's blue chip index, the SMI, is expected to climb further this week, following predictions that banking and pharmaceutical stocks will improve.

This content was published on August 6, 2000 - 09:08

The major domestic news on the economic front comes on Tuesday with the release of unemployment figures for July. In June the unemployment rate stood at 1.8 per cent, and analysts are now forecasting a further drop as the Swiss economy continues its economic recovery.

Last week Swiss consumer price inflation came in at two per cent, but the central bank said it was not worried because the rise was due to a temporary spike in oil prices.

The Swiss franc looks set to remain at two month lows against the dollar ahead of the next big interest rate policy meeting in the United States, which is set for August 22. Last Thursday the dollar rose as high as SFr1.7123, its strongest performance since May 26.

On the corporate front, electronics group SAIA-Burgess will release its first half figures on Tuesday. Back in April the company, based in canton Berne, said it expects full year sales to rise by 14 to 18 per cent while the net profit should be up at least by the same rate.

The company made the forecast while reporting net income for the first quarter of SFr7.2 million ($4.21 million), up 38.5 per cent, on 30 per cent higher sales of SFr98.2 million.

by Tom O'Brien

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