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Franc Falls After Minister Says Considering Capital Controls

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Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The franc fell against the euro and the dollar after Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said a panel is considering measures, including capital controls and negative interest rates, to weaken the Swiss currency.

The franc fell against the majority of its 16 major peers tracked by Bloomberg after Widmer-Schlumpf said the panel is considering negative interest rates, a levy on transactions and restrictions on the movement of Swiss and foreign currencies, at a hearing in the Swiss parliament’s lower house today. The Swiss National Bank resisted pressure from exporters to further curb the strength of the currency at its quarterly policy meeting on Dec. 15.

“The government and the central bank there are still very much focused on limiting Swiss franc strength and they clearly want to see a weaker” currency, said Brian Dolan, chief currency strategist at FOREX.com, a unit of online currency trading firm Gain Capital in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The franc fell 0.2 percent to 1.2208 per euro at 5:53 p.m. London time, and 0.2 percent to 93.39 centimes per dollar.

The finance minister has made similar statements in the past. On Dec. 7, she said at a hearing in the parliament’s upper house that capital controls and negative interest rates “are issues which are being examined.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Lukanyo Mnyanda in Edinburgh at lmnyanda@bloomberg.net; David Goodman in London at dgoodman28@bloomberg.net

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

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