ZURICH, March 6 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open lower on Thursday, dragged down by Roche shares trading ex-dividend, while European markets were seen rising, underpinned by efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine and hopes the ECB could unveil further action to support the euro zone’s economy.
The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen falling 0.5 percent, with Roche down almost 3 percent, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
The computer accessory maker said its financial performance in the fiscal year to March would come in at the high end of the outlook it provided in January and raised the guidance for its fiscal year 2015. It also announced a $250 million share buyback programme.
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Zurich Insurance Group said on Thursday it had nominated Christoph Franz, outgoing Lufthansa LHAG.DE boss and new Roche chairman, for election to its board of directors.
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* AMS AG : SIX Exchange Regulation said it initiated an investigation against ams AG on the grounds of possible breaches of the rules governing the disclosure of management transactions.
* Aryzta AG said its 68 percent subsidiary Origin Enterprises Plc generated adjusted diluted earnings per share of 5.93 euro cents per share in the six months to January.
* Bossard Holding said its net profit rose to 56 million Swiss francs in 2013.
* Bucher Industries AG said its profit rose 26 percent to 196 million Swiss francs last year. Its board will propose a dividend of 6.50 francs per share.
* Goldbach Group AG said it had a net loss of 16.1 million Swiss francs in 2013 and will propose a dividend of 0.80 francs per share.
* Looser Holding said it entered into an agreement for the sale of the Feycolor Group to the MIPA Group in Germany for an undisclosed price.
* Novartis said its Xolair was approved in the EU as a licensed therapy for chronic spontaneous urticaria patients unresponsive to antihistamines.
* Swisslog said it generated a net profit of 11.9 million Swiss francs in 2013 and said it would refrain from distributing a dividend for the year.