Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Jan 17

ZURICH Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:31am EST

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ZURICH Jan 17 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open little changed on Friday, tracking European shares, as investors await U.S. data on housing starts and industrial output and University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey.

The Swiss blue-chip index was forecast to open virtually unchanged at 8,461 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.

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

ROCHE

A temporary shortage in the United States of one of the leading flu medicines used to treat children with the sometimes deadly virus has been resolved, Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said.

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RICHEMONT

Luxury goods group Richemont, whose stable of brands includes jewellers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, has applied to open shops in India, joining other global retailers who entered the market since New Delhi relaxed investment rules.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Kaba Group said Executive Vice President Group Business Development would resign on March 1 for health reasons.

* Zehnder Group forecast a modest improvement in earnings in 2014, but said it did not expect economic conditions in most markets to improve.

* Arbonia-Forster-Holding said it was selling its kitchen business with Swiss brands Piatti and Forster Schweizer Stahlkuchen to German manufacturer Alno.

ECONOMY

December PPI due at 0815 GMT

SNB

The Swiss National Bank's lid on the Swiss franc will remain at the centre of monetary policy for the foreseeable future, and the value of the safe-haven currency is still high, the central bank's chairman said on Thursday.

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