May 14, 2020 / 4:39 AM / 3 months ago

Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on May 14

ZURICH/BERLIN, May 14 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.4% lower at 9,595 points on Thursday, around 15% down from its record high earlier this year, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .

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

ZURICH INSURANCE

The Swiss insurer on Thursday said property and casualty claims related to the coronavirus pandemic could total around $750 million this year, after recognising $280 million such claims in the first quarter.

CLARIANT

Clariant is scrapping a regular dividend as hunkers down to survive the COVID-19 crisis, the Swiss specialty chemicals maker said on Thursday, while still planning a special $1 billion payout from asset-sale proceeds, if they go through.

STRAUMANN

The Swiss maker of dental implants will slash hundreds of jobs after the COVID-19 crisis brought activity in the offices of dentists and orthodontists around the world largely to a standstill, forcing the company to retrench. The expected savings in 2021 will be about 30 million Swiss francs ($30.83 million).

ROCHE

Genentech announced positive results from a trial evaluating its dual immunotherapies, tiragolumab and Tecentriq, compared with Tecentriq alone, as the Swiss drugmaker gives a trial run to an experimental combination of medicines it hopes will improve treatment success rates for lung and other cancers that have remained frustratingly low.

CORONAVIRUS

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization said, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a "massive effort" to counter it.

Asia's stock markets fell and gold hit a one-week high as worries about a second wave of coronavirus infections and a dour assessment of the way back from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve dashed hopes for a quick recovery.

COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Flughafen Zurich reported a 99% fall in passenger numbers in April compared with a year earlier.

* Relief Therapeutics said it got manufacturing validation for a drug from a partner that is being used in a coronavirus trial

* Polyphor announced the acceptance of an abstract at an upcoming virtual scientific program.

* Sunrise Communications cuts its 2020 sales forecast, citing uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ANALYSTS' VIEWS

ALCON - SVB Leerink raises target price to $57 from $56

ECONOMY

* Swiss April producer prices due at 0630 GMT

$1 = 0.9731 Swiss francs Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk

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