Franc Pares Losses as Exports Gain, Intervention Concern Eases

The Swiss franc pared losses against the dollar and the euro as a government report showed exports rose in December, cooling speculation the central bank will intervene to weaken the currency.

The franc also erased earlier declines versus the dollar as a rally in the euro pulled up Switzerland’s currency against the greenback. Swiss National Bank Governing Board member Jean-Pierre Danthine said last week that policy makers are ready to defend the limit of 1.20 per euro they imposed in September.

“The whim of euro-dollar going up and down seems to be dragging euro-Swiss in a modest range,” said Elizabeth Gregory, a market strategist at Swissquote Bank SA based in Geneva. Intervention concern and not “Swiss fundamentals are not really the key driver of the currency pair.”

The franc was little changed at 91.46 centimes per dollar at 4:21 p.m. London time after falling as much as 0.6 percent. The Swiss currency was also little changed at 1.20433 per euro after earlier dropping 0.2 percent. The franc climbed to 1.20319 per euro yesterday, the strongest since Sept. 19.

The euro erased losses to trade at $1.3163 after falling as low as $1.3086.

Swiss exports, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, advanced 6.1 percent from November, when they fell a revised 4.8 percent, the Federal Customs Office said in a statement today.

The SNB will “continue to enforce the minimum rate with the utmost determination and remains prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited quantities,” Danthine said on Jan. 24. “The franc is still highly valued, but it should depreciate further in the future.”

The franc has lost 14 percent against a basket of nine developed-market peers in the last six months as the SNB imposed its ceiling, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes. That’s the worst performance among the 10 currencies tracked by the measure.

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