ZURICH, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open slightly higher on Monday supported by Novartis which is indicated up after the drugmaker unveiled strikingly good clinical trial results for a new heart failure drug.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen rising 0.3 percent to 8,687 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.
Novartis was seen opening up 1.5 percent.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Monday:
A new heart failure drug from Novartis cut the risk of both cardiovascular death and hospitalisation by a fifth in a keenly awaited study, boosting hopes for a product that is seen as a multibillion-dollar seller.
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At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources.
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Swatch Group is happy to go it alone with a launch next year of watches with "smart" features to compete with so-called wearable gadgets from the big tech companies, a market potentially worth $93 billion.
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* Helvetia said its takeover of rival Nationale Suisse is proceeding according to plan, as it reported a 9.8 percent rise in first-half profit after tax to 197 million Swiss francs.
* Accu Holding AG said it has agreed with the main shareholder of 1C Industries Zug AG to acquire a majority stake in Italian group Cieffe Holding by Sept. 30. As part of the acquisition, the board of directors plans to increase its conditional share capital to 6.3 million Swiss francs.
* Roche said it has commenced a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of InterMune at a price of $74.00 per share.
* The Swiss National Bank stands ready to intervene in the foreign exchange market to defend its cap on the franc and could take further measures to ensure price stability, its chairman told a Sunday newspaper.
* PMI data due at 0730 GMT