Exchange Rate in Switzerland
Switzerland - Exchange Rate
Strengthening of Swiss franc likely to persist, defense of currency floor becoming harder
At the beginning of November, the Swiss franc came under considerable strain and approached the 1.20 CHF per EUR floor established by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in September 2011. The recent strengthening of the currency stemmed from investors' high appetite for safe-haven assets, including the Swiss franc, amid rising concerns over deteriorating growth prospects for the global economy. Of particular concern are the fragile outlook for the Eurozone, slowing growth in China and ongoing geopolitical tensions.
Even though the SNB declared in its September monetary policy meeting that it would continue to intervene in the foreign exchange market to prevent the franc from surpassing the 1.20 CHF per EUR limit, its objective of containing the franc's further appreciation will become harder to achieve, at least in the near term. The strengthening of the franc is likely to persist in the coming months, mainly due to more pessimistic global growth prospects, but also owing to rising concerns that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) purchase of covered bonds and asset-backed securities (ABS) will not succeed in reviving the Eurozone economy.
Additional pressure came from markets' uncertainty ahead of the upcoming gold referendum. On 30 November, Switzerland will hold a referendum on the "save our Swiss gold" initiative the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) has proposed. The initiative suggests that the SNB should hold at least 20% of its assets in gold, as the Bank's current holding is around 7.5%. The SNB strongly opposes the proposal, and has pointed out that such action would interfere with the conduct of monetary policy in its current form.
Notwithstanding the considerable upward pressure on the Swiss currency, many analysts agree that the SNB's currency floor will hold for the remainder of 2014 and throughout 2015. Vasileios Gkionakis, Head of Global FX Strategy at Unicredit, stated:
It seems that markets may be testing the central bank’s resolve ahead of the upcoming gold referendum. We believe that the SNB will continue to defend the floor with “utmost determination” and – in addition to accumulating more FX reserves if needed – it is likely to increase the supply of liquidity to the Swiss franc money market through the expansion of the banks’ sight deposits. Our central scenario remains for the existing monetary policy framework to remain unchanged in the foreseeable future.
That said, consumer confidence is holding at particularly low levels and the economy is likely to register a third consecutive year of deflation in 2014. Consequently, although the Swiss National Bank's stance toward the currency has hardened, it has gone further in suggesting that other measures might also be considered, including raising the currency floor or implementing negative interest rates. Gkionakis goes on to say that:
[W]ith Swiss consumer sentiment hitting a two-year low, inflation expectations dipping in 3Q14 and potentially heading even lower on the back of ongoing declines in commodity prices, the risk of the SNB taking even more action has increased. If it does, we think that raising the EUR-CHF floor is somewhat more likely than cutting rates into negative territory: the latter would have a more questionable impact (and would likely not be favored by the cantons as, in all likelihood, it would result in lower distributed profits), whereas the former seems like a more direct way of putting downside pressure on the CHF, especially as the policy has gained credibility since 2011.
Pressure is expected to persist on the Swiss franc in the coming weeks and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists predict that the CHF will end the year trading at 1.19 CHF per EUR. At the end of 2015, forecasters see the Swiss franc remaining strong and trading at 1.21 CHF per EUR.
Switzerland - Exchange Rate Data
|Exchange Rate (vs USD)||0.89||0.99||1.00||1.02||0.97|
5 years of economic forecasts for more than 30 economic indicators.
Switzerland Exchange Rate Chart
Source: Thomson Reuters.
|Bond Yield||-1.04||6.27 %||Sep 04|
|Exchange Rate||0.98||-0.54 %||Sep 04|
|Stock Market||9,895||-0.82 %||Sep 04|
Get a sample report showing our regional, country and commodities data and analysis.
Request a Trial
Start working with the reports used by the world’s major financial institutions, multinational enterprises & government agencies now. Click on the button below to get started.
September 19, 2019
At its meeting on 19 September, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) maintained its current expansionary policy stance as widely expected by market analysts.
September 5, 2019
The economy grew 0.3% on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis in the second quarter, slowing from the downwardly revised 0.4% expansion in the first quarter (previously reported: +0.6% quarter-on-quarter).
September 3, 2019
Consumer prices came in flat in August, contrasting the 0.5% drop registered in July.
September 2, 2019
The KOF economic barometer—a leading composite indicator for the Swiss economy, which forecasts a six-month period—was unchanged at July’s revised 97.0 points in August (July previously reported: 97.1 points).
September 2, 2019
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) produced by Credit Suisse and procure.ch rose to 47.2 in August from 44.7 in July, marking the first uptick in nearly a year.