ZURICH, August 8 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open lower on Friday, as worries about conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East weighed on sentiment, after U.S. President Barack Obama authorised air strikes against militants in Iraq.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening down 0.7 percent at 8,229 points, according to the Swiss futures index .
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Friday:
A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday said the U.S. Department of Justice may pursue most of its lawsuit accusing Novartis AG of civil fraud for allegedly using kickbacks to boost sales of drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
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* Leonteq said it will raise net proceeds of approximately 173.1 million Swiss francs (190.53 million US dollar) by issuing 1,296,295 new shares which begin trading on Friday. Ninety-nine percent of the new shares have been subscribed for.
* Interroll said incoming orders rose 1.3 percent in the first half to 173 million Swiss francs. Operating profit before depreciation and amortisation fell to 18.2 million francs hit by one-time investments.
* Thurgauer Kantonalbank said first-half profit rose 17.5 percent to 58 million francs. It expects its second half result to be more moderate than that achieved in the first six months.
* Zehnder Group said it has appointed two new members to its group executive committee. Tomasz Juda will take on management of the competence centre for radiators, and Olaf Schulte will have responsibility for the ventilation competence centre.
* The Swiss unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month at a non-seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in July, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said on Friday.
1 US dollar = 0.9085 Swiss franc