16 de enero de 2015 / 9:38 / en 3 años

Swiss selloff pushes European indexes lower after franc rally

* Swiss stocks slide 5.3 pct as franc leap triggers growth scare

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct

* Still up 2.6 pct on the week

* Greek shares fall as two banks ask for liquidity support

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - A fresh slide in Swiss stocks pushed pan-European indexes lower on Friday as investors further marked down Swiss franc-denominated equities a day after the shock lifting of the central bank’s cap on the currency.

Watchmaker Swatch and private bank Julius Baer led a 5.3 percent slide in Zurich’s SMI index as analysts and traders warned of a hit to Swiss exporters’ and investors’ returns after the franc rallied sharply against the euro and the dollar on Thursday.

“The likelihood is that the Swiss economy will have to be completely recalculated,” Lorne Baring, managing director of Geneva-based wealth management firm B Capital said.

“Tourism and exporters will feel this... and Swiss investors with euro zone and U.S. holdings will feel betrayed by the Swiss National Bank.”

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.7 percent at 1,384.09 points at 0935 GMT.

The index was still up 2.6 percent for the week, largely thanks to a surge on Thursday.

Investors took the ditching of the franc’s cap against the euro as a sign the Swiss National Bank was anticipating the imminent launch of a significant European Central Bank bond purchase programme, effectively a euro-printing exercise that is seen as positive for stocks.

Some traders felt the market had by now fully priced in the introduction of a quantitative easing programme by the ECB next Thursday, and lingering uncertainty about its size and composition made investors reluctant to buy more ahead of the announcement.

“QE (speculation) has been around for so long that I think it will be a ‘buy the rumour and sell the announcement’,” Markus Huber, a trader at Peregrine & Black, said.

Greek shares lagged, down 1.8 percent, after two of the country’s lenders asked to tap the central bank’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) facility, showing financial stress was building up ahead of the country’s general election next weekend, which anti-bailout party Syriza is tipped to win.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up (editing by John Stonestreet)

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