The Swiss franc fell to a five-week low against the euro as speculation European Union leaders are moving closer to containing the region’s debt crisis damped demand for the currency as a haven.
The franc headed for a weekly loss against the 17-nation currency after euro-area chiefs meeting in Brussels eased repayment rules for emergency loans to Spanish banks and relaxed conditions on potential help for Italy. The franc strengthened versus the dollar, snapping a four-day decline, after an index of Swiss leading economic indicators improved in June.
“We’re seeing quite a spike in euro-franc in the wake of this summit outcome,” said Daragh Maher, a currency strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc in London. “We’ve had a couple of examples with euro-franc where the market has been caught wrong-footed and has been squeezed higher. This spike today may simply be the latest example.”
The franc declined 0.1 percent to 1.2016 per euro at 4:37 p.m. in London after falling to 1.20389, the weakest level since May 24. The Swiss currency appreciated 1.7 percent to 94.84 centimes per dollar.
After more than 13 hours of talks ended early today, chiefs of the euro countries also agreed that banks can also be recapitalized directly with European bailout funds rather than being channeled through governments.
The franc surged toward parity with the euro last year, reaching 1.008 on Aug. 9, as turmoil in the 17-member region boosted demand for the safety of the Swiss currency. The Swiss National Bank placed a cap of 1.20 francs per euro in September to protect exporters.
The KOF Swiss Economic Institute said its gauge of leading indicators, which aims to predict the economy’s direction six months ahead, climbed to 1.16 from a revised 0.8 in May.