ZURICH, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open steady on Thursday with positive economic data from the United States seen boosting sentiment.
The Swiss blue-chip index was forecast to open little changed at 8,418 points, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer.
The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Thursday:
Richemont said retailers in Asia Pacific remained cautious in the three months to December, limiting sales growth in the quarter to 9 percent at constant exchange rates, below forecasts.
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* SGS has bought the Finish subsidiary of the Nemko Group, Nemko Oy, which had revenues in excess of 3.3 million euros in 2013.
* Georg Fischer said it would invest 55 million euros over the next two years to equip its GF Automotive factory in Germany with an iron castings moulding line for the production of lightweight components.
* Autoneum said net sales rose 5.8 percent to 2.1 billion Swiss francs in 2013 and it expects net profit will be higher for 2013 than in 2012. The company reports full results on March 19.
* Gategroup has won a five-year extension to provide catering and provisioning service to long-time customer Delta Airlines.
* Flughafen Zurich said the number of passengers at the airport rose by 0.3 percent in 2013 to 24.9 million.
* Compagnie Financiere Tradition said Lloyds Bank has agreed to join its Trad-X Platform as a founder.
Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan to give a speech at 1700 GMT.