After buying an unprecedented amount of foreign currency reserves in May, the Swiss National Bank apparently has been absent this month from foreign-exchange markets, allowing the euro to set a fresh record low against the Swiss franc.
The Swiss government on Tuesday said its central bank acquired 78.8 billion Swiss francs ($67.7 billion) in foreign-currency reserves last month as it sought to contain the steady appreciation in its currency, a favored haven from the euro zone's financial turmoil, Wall Street Journal says.
“The euro zone debt crisis has resulted in strong demand for the Swiss franc,” Mansoor Mohi-uddin, the global head of foreign-exchange strategy at UBS in Singapore, said today in a research note. “This mega-trend is likely to continue through 2010 to 2020 as investors increasingly hold the currency as a substitute for the old German mark.”
The Swiss franc strengthened 7.1 percent against the euro this year, trading at a record 1.3746 per euro yesterday, boosted by demand for the safest assets as the debt crisis that started in Greece threatened to slow euro-area growth. Switzerland’s foreign-currency reserves jumped to 232.4 billion Swiss francs ($202 billion) in May as the Swiss National Bank intervened to prevent it appreciating faster, BusinessWeek informs.
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