BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - After opening weak and spending much of the trading session notably down in negative territory, the Swiss market briefly turned positive in the final hour before finishing marginally lower on Friday.
Worries about trade war rendered the mood bearish early on in the session. Profit taking after three successive days of gains pushed down a few stocks.
The U.S. government's official announcement that it would delay imposing tariffs on auto imports from EU bolstered sentiment and contributed to the gradual recovery during the later part of the session.
The benchmark SMI ended down 1.51 points, or about 0.02%, at 9,659.08. The index scaled a low of 9,600.96 and a high of 9,671.16 in the session.
On Thursday, the index ended up 179.83 points, or 1.9%, at 9,660.59.
Richemont shares rose sharply and gained about 2.85% buyoed by an announcement from the company that sales of its watches and jewellery both grew by 10% in the year to the end of March.
Shares of Novartis stayed mostly subdued and eventually ended with a marginal gain. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis misled consumers with Voltaren Osteo gel claims. The regulator said it found that despite having the same active ingredients, Osteo Gel was often sold at a significantly higher retail price than Emulgel.
Midcap stocks AMS and Partners Group Holding declined 3.4% and 2.3%, respectively. Sonova, Vifor Pharma and Dufry ended lower by 1 to 1.6%.
Among the other major markets in Europe, Germany ended notably lower, with its benchmark DAX declining 0.58%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.18% and 0.07%, respectively. The pan European Stoxx 600 ended down 0.36%.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX