March 1, 2012 / 5:46 AM / 5 years ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 1

ZURICH, March 1 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks are expected to open lower on Thursday, as a boost to investor sentiment from cheap funding from the European Central Bank faded.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was poised to open 10 points lower at 6,098 points, according to premarket data provided by bank Clariden Leu.

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:

ADECCO

Adecco warned of slowing jobs growth in parts of Europe after its fourth-quarter net profit fell 5.7 percent to 133 million euros, slightly beating the 123 million euros average forecast in a Reuters poll.

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LINDT & SPRUENGLI

Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Spruengli said the spectre of rising joblessness was dampening consumer sentiment and Europe's debt crisis made the coming year hard to assess, after 2001 net profit rose 1.9 percent to 246.5 million Swiss francs, just ahead of the average analyst forecast for 244 million Swiss francs in a Reuters poll.

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BANKS

Swiss lawmakers threw their support behind a tax proposal which could help to strike a deal with the United States on Wednesday, a move which is seen as instrumental to settling a U.S. probe into Swiss banks with hidden offshore accounts.

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TRANSOCEAN

Transocean Ltd may face $473 million in U.S. back taxes, according to its annual filing, though it also said it was cleared in a similar dispute dating back eight years, which may give its lawyers a useful precedent.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Novartis said two Phase III studies of Novartis drug INC424 published in NEJM show significant clinical benefit for patients with myelofibrosis.

* Novartis named Brian McNamara to the position of Division Head of Novartis OTC (Over-the-Counter), effective immediately.

* Sika reported revenues of 4.556 billion Swiss francs for 2011.

* Ascom said it is transferring its Defence unit, the largest part of the former Security Communication Division, to Ruag.

* Calida reported consolidated sales of 206.2 million Swiss francs in 2011.

ECONOMY

The Swiss economy grew by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said on Thursday.

The year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent

* PMI data for February due at 0830 GMT

RESEARCH

Nomura cuts EFG International <EFHN.S] target price to 6.50 Swiss francs from 7 Sfr, rating redcue.

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