Swiss Franc Weakens on China Data, Slower 2012 Growth Outlook

The Swiss franc weakened as investors sought higher-yielding assets after China’s industrial output topped economists’ estimates and Switzerland’s government cut its 2012 growth forecast.

The franc fell versus all of its 16 major peers monitored by Bloomberg. German bonds fell and European equities advanced as the Chinese data curbed investor demand for assets perceived to have the least risk. Swiss gross domestic product will rise 1.5 percent next year instead of the 1.9 percent projected in March, and the franc’s appreciation poses risks to the outlook, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said today.

“We saw a little bit of risk being put back on the table; that’s part of the reason we’re seeing euro-Swiss franc higher,” said Daragh Maher, deputy head of global foreign exchange strategy at Credit Agricole CIB in London. “Unless it’s sufficiently onerous that they’re tempted to actively weaken the Swiss franc,” government forecasts won’t have “that much bearing on the currency,” he said. “The global news is more important.”

The franc weakened 0.5 percent to 1.2131 per euro as of 11:12 a.m. in London. The currency yesterday strengthened to a record 1.2004 per euro.

Against the dollar, the franc was 0.3 percent weaker at 84 centimes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Dobson in London at pdobson2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Tilles at dtilles@bloomberg.net

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