The franc rose against most major currencies, as assets considered safe by investors got a lift after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria will be held liable for using chemical weapons.
The Swiss currency advanced against 15 of its 16 major peers, only declining against the yen. Against the euro, the franc hit its strongest level in a week.
“The prevailing emerging-market jitters are exacerbated by talk of possible U.S. strikes on Syria,” Alvin Tan, a director of foreign-exchange strategies at Societe Generale SA in London, wrote in a note to clients. “The yen and the franc have gained, as per the typical playbook.”
The franc was up 0.3 percent against the euro at 1.2303 at 11:25 a.m. in Zurich. Against the dollar it appreciated 0.1 percent to 92.24 centimes. It also climbed against the Canadian dollar, the British pound and the Australian dollar. It fell 0.6 percent against the yen.
Investors generally buy the franc at times of heightened uncertainty. In September 2011, investor anxiety about the euro area’s debts led the Swiss National Bank to set a cap of 1.20 per euro on the franc to shield the country from deflation and a recession. The franc had nearly touched parity with the common currency a month before.