Swiss Equities Slide Amid Surprise Retail Sales Drop, Downbeat Factory Data — TradingView News

Stocks kicked off the second quarter in the red after Switzerland’s retail sales unexpectedly declined while the manufacturing sector remained in the contraction zone.

After the long weekend, the Swiss Market Index was 1.15% lower on Tuesday’s close.

Switzerland’s seasonally adjusted retail sales edged down 0.2% year over year in February, against the prior 0.3% growth and the consensus estimate of a 0.4% rise. On a monthly basis, retail sales fell 0.1%, compared with the previous 0.8% gain.

On the other hand, the Swiss manufacturing PMI climbed to 45.2 in March from 44 in February, above the expected 44.9. Though the reading marks the highest since April 2023, the index remains below the 50.0 neutral mark, indicating a contraction.

“The industrial PMI was supported by a less pessimistic assessment of the production situation and the order backlog,” said.

Meanwhile, a staff paper showed that the Swiss National Bank SNBN may have to initiate 27 billion francs in foreign exchange interventions to keep the Swiss currency from appreciating by 1.1%. “The effect is stronger the longer the central bank can commit to keep its policy rate constant in response to the inflationary effect of the interventions,” the research said.

In corporate news, UBS Group UBSG will launch a new share repurchase program worth up to $2 billion on Wednesday after concluding a buyback program initiated in 2022. The new program is in line with the Swiss bank’s plan to buy back up to $1 billion of its shares in 2024 after closing its merger with Credit Suisse. The stock was down 0.04% at closing.

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