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Peter Wuffli rings NYSE's closing bell

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UBS President Peter Wuffli rang the bell that signals the end of the trading on Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), an event underscoring the firm's global appeal as well as its commitment to U.S. markets.

"We think we are seeing the end of the bear market," Wuffli said in an interview with financial news network CNBC after the bell ceremony. "I'm quite optimistic about the remainder of the year," he said, referring to the U.S. and European economies. However, he cautioned, global financial markets are not about to embark on a full-blown bull market. "Sentiment is picking up, however we should expect volatility and even setbacks in the months to come."

An invitation from the NYSE to ring the bells that either open or close a day's trading is considered an honor and a venerable part of the heritage of the NYSE, which traces its origins back over 200 years to the Buttonwood Agreement by New York City stockbrokers and merchants in 1792.

The NYSE has been using trading bells since the 1870s when continuous trading was introduced. Originally, a Chinese gong was used, however brass bells have been used since the NYSE moved to its current location in 1903. There is one large bell in each of the four trading areas. The loud and distinct bells, which measure 18 inches in diameter (about 45 centimeters), are operated synchronously from a single control.