January 31, 2019 / 5:51 AM / 23 days ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch Jan. 31

ZURICH/BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.6 percent higher at 9,018 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:

ROCHE

Swiss drugmaker Roche expects sales and earnings to rise in 2019, Chief Executive Severin Schwan said on Thursday, even as more copies of the company’s $22 billion trio of cancer medicines Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin hit the market.

SWATCH

Swatch said business slowed in the last three months of 2018 hit by a downturn in Asia and weak sales in France, leading it to post lower-than-expected results for the full year.

ABB

To minimize job cuts as part of an announced company restructuring, ABB has initiated a hiring halt, Swiss paper Handelszeitung reported and ABB confirmed.

BUCHER INDUSTRIES AG

The company on Thursday said its full year sales rose by 16 percent in 2018.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Luzern Kantonalbank increased net profit by 1 percent to 200.4 million francs. It targets group profit between 195 million and 203 million francs in 2019.

* Berner Kantonalbank increased FY profit by 2.4 percent to 140.8 million francs.

ECONOMY

No major economic data scheduled.

$1 = 0.9960 Swiss francs Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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