Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Feb 3

ZURICH Mon Feb 3, 2014 2:48am EST

ZURICH Feb 3 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open slightly lower on Monday as concerns about emerging market currencies and slightly slower growth in China's manufacturing sector in January dampened risk appetite.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen slipping nearly 0.1 percent to 8,184 points, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

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

NOVARTIS

Swiss drugs group Novartis NOVN.VX is planning to cut or transfer up to 4,000 jobs, newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung am Sonntag reported on Sunday, citing an internal email.

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JULIUS BAER

Julius Baer said it will hit the lower end of its target for the transfer of assets invested by former clients of Merrill Lynch's overseas wealth arm, after the Swiss bank missed full-year profit targets.

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Looser Holding said it expected a significant drop in consolidated net income for 2013 compared to the prior-year.

* Sulzer said it had agreed to buy a 75 percent stake in Saudi Pump Factory for a price of 33 million Swiss francs.

* Sika said it had appointed Adrian Widmer as Chief Financial Officer with effect from March 1, 2014.

* Schindler Holding said it will not participate in the next capital increase of Hyundai Elevator planned for February 2014.

* Gurit said it expected to reach a full-year operating profit margin of roughly 2 percent of net sales, whcih stood at 281.1 million Swiss francs due to low materials sales volume and impairment charges. Full earnings are due March 14.

* Peach Property said it expects to report a 2 to 3 million franc full-year loss before taxes -- smaller than expected -- because of previously disclosed significant one-off costs. Full-year sales volume reached around 86.3 million francs while operating income rose to 56 million francs. Full earnings are due March 13.

ECONOMY

* January PMI at 0830 GMT

* The Swiss National Bank would only consider scrapping its minimum exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro if inflation were much higher and there was less upward pressure on the currency, its vice-chairman was quoted as saying on Sunday.

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