Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Oct 17

ZURICH Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:35am EDT

ZURICH Oct 17 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were seen opening slightly higher on Thursday after a last-minute deal to end the U.S. government shutdown and avert a debt default allowed the market to draw breath.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening up 0.1 percent at 7,989 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

NESTLE

Nestle said still-weak emerging market demand and falling prices for its products in Europe slowed underlying sales growth to 4.4 percent in the first nine months of the year from 6.1 percent in the year-ago period.

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ROCHE

The Swiss drugmaker posted an 8 percent rise in third-quarter sales and confirmed its outlook for rising sales and profit this year as its new breast cancer drugs picked up momentum.

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ACTELION

Europe's largest biotech company confirmed its full-year outlook ahead of a widely anticipated approval of its big drug hope Opsumit by U.S. health regulators later this week.

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SYNGENTA

The world's largest agrochemicals company, said earnings for the year would depend on the progress of Latin American planting season as it reported third-quarter sales in line with expectations.

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SULZER

The Swiss machinery manufacturer reported 3 billion Swiss francs in order intake in the first nine months.

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RICHEMONT

The Swiss luxury group is informally looking for potential buyers for its fashion brand Chloe and received a non-binding offer this month from private equity firm Change Capital for leather goods maker Lancel, sources close to the matter said.

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UBS

UBS promoted senior energy dealmaker Tom Langford to run its global natural resources investment banking business, leading the Swiss bank's practice in the energy, mining and chemicals sectors.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

*BB Biotech posted a profit of 338.8 million Swiss francs in the third quarter.

ECONOMY

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