* Swiss stocks slump after SNB scraps euro cap on franc
* Biggest one-day fall since 1989
* Market cap destruction estimated at $100 bln
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index down 1.4 pct
* Huge swings in major stocks Swatch, Richemont
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Frantic foreign exchange trading after the Swiss National Bank scrapped its euro cap on the franc took $100 billion off the value of Switzerland’s blue-chips on Thursday, putting them on track for their biggest one-day fall in at least 25 years.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI index slumped more than 8.6 percent, with stocks including Swatch, luxury-goods firm Richemont and cement-maker Holcim down between 12 and 14 percent in what some traders described as “carnage”.
Swiss-listed shares of offshore drilling contractor Transocean slumped to an all-time low. Lenders Julius Baer and UBS were down 10 percent.
The SNB’s shock decision to discontinue the cap against the euro it introduced on Sept. 6, 2011 to fight recession and deflation pressures sent the Swiss franc soaring by almost 30 percent, a move that rippled through global markets and which was seen hurting Swiss firms’ exporting power.
Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek called the decision “a tsunami” for Switzerland’s economy.
“It’s carnage,” Central Markets Investment Management’s head of trading, Darren Courtney-Cook, said.
“I‘m a seller of Europe here.”
Stock markets fell across the region. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.3 percent.
“Equity markets have been shaken out by the Swiss move,” IG market analyst, David Madden, said.
“Markets are still struggling to puzzle out the full implications, but the sudden drop in equity markets as well in the FX sphere shows that the move caught everyone off guard.”
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Francesco Canepa; Editing by Lionel Laurent and Louise Ireland)