June 18, 2020 / 4:25 AM / 25 days ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on June 18

ZURICH/BERLIN, June 18 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4% lower at 10,162 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:

CORONAVIRUS

Asian stocks and Wall Street futures fell as spiking coronavirus cases in some U.S. states and China crushed hopes of a quick global economic comeback from the pandemic.

A cheap steroid that can help save the lives of patients with severe COVID-19 should be reserved for serious cases in which it has been shown to provide benefits, the World Health Organization said.

BANKS

Economic and financial conditions for the Swiss banking sector have deteriorated markedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss National Bank said on Thursday, but big banks UBS and Credit Suisse are favourably placed to manage challenges.

ROCHE

Rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra failed to help patients with early-stage COVID-19 pneumonia in an Italian study, researchers reported, but the Swiss drugmaker is testing the medicine in another trial against the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

A second phase III study of Tecentriq in combination with chemotherapy met its primary endpoint of improved pathological complete response as initial treatment for people with early triple-negative breast cancer, Roche said on Thursday.

SWATCH

Swatch Group appointed new heads for several of its watch brands, including Longines and Tissot, in a long expected generational change.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Helvetia Holding has completed a private placement of 3.3 million new shares — corresponding to 6.6% of its currently issued share capital — to partly finance its acquisition of Spanish insurer Caser.

* CASSIOPEA has completed a rights offering for 750,000 new registered shares, corresponding to 7.5% of its share capital before the offering, with gross proceeds of 23.25 million euros ($26.17 million)

* Orior confirms its statements from April regarding the impact of the coronavirus crisis: It sees strong growth in retail and lower revenues from food service channels.

* Kudelski’s Nagra division announced that Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) has selected it to secure its Android TV 4K Ultra HD pay-TV service.

* Romande Energie said bit.ly/2Cil2a1 executive board member Christian Frère will leave the company.

* Sunrise has acquired web TV company Wilmaa, bringing its 10 employees over to Sunrise.

* SenioResidenz said it completed a capital increase and 1,916,604 registered shares with a par value of 49.50 francs per share would listed on BX Swiss AG from today.

* Relief Therapeutics has postponed its ordinary general meeting to July 17.

ANALYSTS’ VIEWS

SWISSCOM - JP Morgan raises price target to chf 527 from chf 521

ECONOMY

Swiss SNB policy rate decision due at 0730 GMT. Seen unchanged at -0.75%

Switzerland ran a merchandise trade surplus of 2.8 billion Swiss francs in May, the Federal Customs Office said on Thursday.

$1 = 0.8885 euros Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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