Swedish shares defy US budget turmoil

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Swedish shares defy US budget turmoil

The American budget mayhem failed to put a damper on Tuesday's stock prices in Stockholm, but did knock a gust or two out of the sails of Swedish Match, for whom the US is a key and growing market.


Share prices hovered on the Stockholm Stock Exchange all through Tuesday as news of the stalled US budget talks had economic observers across Europe nervously looking westward.

Despite the political turmoil, the Swedes defeated the gloom and saw the OMXS Index rise 0.7 percent at the end of the day while the Swedish currency also strenghtened. Most stock markets across Europe and Asia also stayed buoyant despite the US stalemate, and in defiance of the ongoing political crisis in Italy.

Domestic news in Sweden would have also helped cushion the blow, reported the news agency TT. The central bank, the Riksbank, on Tuesday published its company survey that predicted a noticeable upswing in economic growth by the end of the year.

At the same time, Swedish industry reported more orders coming in, according to the Inköpschefsindex, a review based on interviews with business owners across the country.

Swedes have also started shopping for cars again, fodder for good moods on the stock exchange floor.

Among Sweden's heavy-hitters, Swedbank went up by 2.1 percent, with SEB bank not far behind at 1.8.

Yet the malaise in the US did appear to scratch Swedish Match's vinyl a tad. The American market is a key and growing market for the tobacco company, TT noted in its share-price overview. The company share price dropped by 0.5 percent by the end of trading on Tuesday.

TT/The Local/at

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