JANUARY 24 MARKETS SUMMARY: ULTRA LOW INTEREST RATES TO LAST

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The European Central Bank also expects growth in Europe to be weak and has no plan to raise its key interest rates any time soon. In Switzerland, we cover Panalpina news and more earnings reports. The SMI closed down 0.22 percent to 8,937.39.

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A stock exchange that measures social returns
As impact investing gains in popularity, the industry is coming under mounting pressure to develop standards for evaluating real change. Karen Wendt, CEO of Eccos Impact, says one “market solution to end the mess” would involve setting up a stock exchange for these assets.

Expect more green regulations in wake of elections, says UBS economist
With Switzerland’s two green parties making historic gains in national elections yesterday, UBS Switzerland’s chief economist Daniel Kalt says he expects more regulations to come concerning sustainability. But he warns against bans or excessive government intervention, calling for incentives such as a tax on carbon emitting fossil fuels instead.

A “free for all” direction in trade not the way to go, says Evenett
Ahead of the IMF meeting in Washington D.C. and the Brexit vote in the UK, Simon Evenett of the University of St. Gallen talks about the future of multilateral agreements and globalization in general. In his view, the large economies are moving in a “free for all” direction where countries won’t respect the rules and will grab as much market share of the world market as they can. “I think it is the wrong way to go,” says Evenett.

Climate is a key issue in Swiss national elections
Climate concerns are key among voters ahead of this Sunday’s national elections. Turnout is also expected to pass 50 percent for the first time in 40 years.

Apple on track to outsell the entire Swiss watch industry
The shift from analog to digital is leaving Swiss watchmakers behind amid growing demand for watches that do much more than tell time. Apple has grabbed about 50 percent of the smartwatch market in just five years and will probably sell more watches this year than the entire Swiss industry, says Alexander Linz, head of content at WatchAdvisor.com.