Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Aug 8

ZURICH Thu Aug 8, 2013 2:14am EDT

ZURICH Aug 8 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks are expected to open a touch higher on Thursday, as forecast-beating Chinese trade data is expected to reassure investors over growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen unchanged at 7,976 points, according to pre-market indications compiled by bank Julius Baer. The SMI Future was marginally higher at 7,968 points.

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

NESTLE

Underlying sales growth at Nestle missed forecasts in the first half and lagged the performance of key rivals, prompting the world's biggest food group to cut its sales goal as price erosion continued in Europe.

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SWISS RE

Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurer, beat expectations with a $786 million second-quarter net profit on Thursday, helped by good July renewals and higher premium volumes.

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ADECCO

Adecco, the world's largest staffing company, said labour markets in austerity-ravaged Europe are starting to stabilise and reported higher-than-expected net profit in the second quarter.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Sika said it has offered 320 million francs to acquire Akzo Nobel's building adhesives business to boost its product offering for interior finishing in the flooring, sealing bonding and refurbishment markets.

* EFG said Ludovic Chechin-Laurans is stepping down as head of Swiss private banking to return to the Bahamas for a new business venture, which will collaborate with the Swiss bank.

* ADB Group reported its half-year 2013 results.

* AFG published first-half results.

ECONOMY

* The Swiss unemployment rate rose to a non-seasonally adjusted 3 percent in July from 2.9 percent in the previous month, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said on Thursday.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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