ZURICH, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open considerably higher on Thursday in the first day of trading this year, buoyed by hopes of a steady economic revival in China and a deal by U.S. lawmakers to avert massive tax hikes and spending cuts.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen gaining 1.7 points to 6,940 points, according to pre-market indications from bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
* Syngenta has completed the share repurchases authorised by the annual general meeting on April 22, 2008.
* Basler Kantonalbank said it is putting aside 50 million Swiss francs ($54.72 million) to cover client damages related to a scandal over foreign exchange investment firm ASE.
* Schindler wants to buy back a maximum 9.5 percent of its capital by the end of 2015.
* Inficon confirms guidance for full fiscal year 2012 for sales of $290-300 million and operating income of $45-50 million
* Forbo said it is naming Matthias Huenerwadel head of flooring systems effective Jan. 1 in place of Jens Schneider, who leaves top management to attend to strategic Forbo projects.
* Schweiter said it concluded the divestment of Ismeca Semiconductor to Cohu, Inc., as announced on December 10, 2012.
* Swiss lead indicator due at 0800 GMT
* Swiss Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) due at 0830 GMT.
$1 = 0.9138 Swiss francs