The Swiss Stock Market Finished Higher Following Afternoon Rally

( - The Swiss stock market pulled back in early trade Thursday and settled into a sideways pattern ahead of today's announcement from the European Central Bank.

The market rallied higher in the afternoon, along with the rest of the European markets, after the ECB announced that it hopes to halve its monthly bond purchases to EUR 15 billion after September and to end them in December.

The Swiss Market Index increased by 0.65 percent Thursday and finished at 8,690.83. The Swiss Leader Index climbed 0.68 percent and the Swiss Performance Index added 0.55 percent.

Index heavyweight Roche increased 0.9 percent. The company received approval from the U.S. FDA for Avastin plus chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer.

Roche also reported results from its Phase 3 study of Ocrevus. The data showed that Ocrevus may delay the need for a wheelchair by seven years for patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Novartis also gained 1 percent, while Nestle fell 0.2 percent.

Financial stocks performed well Thursday. Julius Baer climbed 1.5 percent, while Credit Suisse and UBS gained 0.9 percent each. Swiss Life advanced 1.2 percent, Swiss Re rose 1 percent and Zurich Insurance added 0.5 percent.

ABB increased 1.6 percent, SGS rose 1.4 percent and Addeco gained 1.3 percent. Lonza also finished higher by 1.1 percent.

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