Swiss stocks sink for second day after SNB's surprise move

viernes 16 de enero de 2015 07:54 GYT

* Swiss SMI index down 4.3 pct, hits 13-month low

* FTSEurofirst 300 mostly unchanged

* Analysts slash profit forecasts for Swiss firms

By Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa

PARIS, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks sank on Friday, extending the sell-off sparked by the Swiss National Bank's surprise decision to remove a ceiling on the Swiss franc that sent the currency soaring.

Watchmakers Swatch and Richemont - seen as the most vulnerable to a higher franc because they are largely produced in Switzerland but sold abroad - were down 5.6 percent and 6.3 percent respectively, adding to losses on Thursday.

The surprise move by the SNB to scrap a three-year-old cap on the value of the franc shocked financial markets on Thursday. A wave of profit warnings from Swiss companies is now expected, and investment banks including JP Morgan and Societe Generale have slashed their earnings forecasts for several companies.

With more than 40 percent of Swiss exports going to the euro zone, companies across Switzerland are set to suffer a plunge in profits, analysts and fund managers warned.

"The likelihood is that the Swiss economy will have to be completely recalculated," said Lorne Baring, managing director of Geneva-based wealth management firm B Capital. "Tourism and exporters will feel this ... and Swiss investors with euro zone and U.S. holdings will feel betrayed by the Swiss National Bank."   Continuación...