March 4, 2020 / 5:12 AM / a month ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on March 4

ZURICH/BERLIN, March 4(Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2% higher at 10,106 points on Wednesday, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

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

CORONAVIRUS

China reported another drop in new coronavirus cases as its attention turns to controlling the risk of infection from abroad, as clusters of the disease that originated in China appear around the world.

The Swiss National Bank is mulling its response to the outbreak as it continues to study whether the epidemic will be a short-lived phenomenon or if it will send global growth into a lasting tailspin, a top official said.

ROCHE

The company has won U.S. breakthrough therapy status for Esbriet for unclassifiable interstitial lung disease (uILD) as it aims to lift disappointing revenue by expanding conditions for which it can be used.

China will use a Roche Holding AG ROG.S arthritis drug to treat some coronavirus patients in severe conditions, health authorities said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to build up treatment regimens to help the infected recover.

CLARIANT

Chemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) said that it had raised its stake in the chemicals maker Clariant to 31.5% from 25%.

NOVARTIS

The Swiss drugmaker said it has stock to cover production and distribution needs for now, and that it is monitoring changes to India's policies governing drug ingredients, with plans to adapt its measures accordingly.

CREDIT SUISSE

The Swiss bank said it is expanding its partnership with AgaNola AG, wich will be renamed Credit Suisse Investment Partners (Switzerland) Ltd. as it continues to focus on management of convertible bonds.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Dormakaba said its first half EBITDA fell to 214.1 million Swiss francs.

* Bucher Industries reported its full year EBITDA dwon to 1.6% to 368 million Swiss francs.

* Autoneum reported a full year net loss of 77.7 million Swiss francs.

* Bossard reported FY net income down at CHF 76.0 million

* Helvetia reported FY net income after tax up at CHF 538.1 Million

* Siegfried Holding said its FY Core Net Profit Up At EUR 65.7 Million.

ANALYSTS' VIEWS

SUNRISE COMMUNICATIONS - Credit Suisse raises to outperform from neutral

SIG COMBIBLOC - Deutsch Bank raises its target price to 17 Swiss francs from 16 francs previously.

VAT GROUP - Deutsche Bank cuts its price target to 150 Swiss francs from 155 francs.

ECONOMY

* Swiss February CPI due at 0730 GMT. Seen +0.2% m/m, +0.1% y/y (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)

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