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

viernes 16 de enero de 2015 14:01 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 ends 1 pct higher, DAX hits record high

* Swiss SMI ends 6 pct lower, down 14 pct in 2 days

* M.Stanley: 85 pct of Swiss firms' sales come from abroad

* SG strategists warn that Swiss dividends at risk

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks fell 6 percent on Friday, extending a sell-off sparked by the Swiss National Bank's surprise decision to remove a ceiling on the Swiss franc that sent the currency soaring.

Shares in other European countries rallied, however, lifted by mounting expectations the European Central Bank will soon launch quantitative easing, and Germany's DAX index set a record high. A rebound in oil prices also boosted energy shares, with Total gaining 3.2 percent and Royal Dutch Shell adding 2.4 percent.

Swiss watchmakers Swatch and Richemont, which owns Cartier, are considered the most vulnerable to a higher franc because their products are largely produced in Switzerland but sold abroad. They lost 7.1 percent and 6.7 percent respectively on Friday, with both stocks down about 20 percent in two days.

Financial markets were shocked on Thursday by the SNB's decision to scrap a three-year-old cap on the value of the franc, which subsequently soared. A wave of profit warnings from Swiss companies is now expected, and investment banks have started to slash their earnings forecasts for several companies.   Continuación...