Thursday June 18, 2009 - 10:20:20 GMT
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Reuters - www.reuters.com
FOREX NEWS-Swiss franc up after SNB comments; dlr creeps up
* Swiss franc up, hits 1 mth high vs euro after SNB comments
* SNB says has been successful stemming franc's rise vs euro
* Dlr up vs euro, sterling falls sharply; U.S. data eyed
(Updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous TOKYO)
By Jessica Mortimer
LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - The Swiss franc rose on
Thursday, hitting a one-month high against the euro after the
Swiss National Bank said it had been successful in stemming the
domestic currency's rise against the euro.
The dollar edged up against the euro as European shares
turned lower .FTEU3, while sterling fell sharply after weak UK
retail sales and public finance data.
SNB Governor Jean-Pierre Roth said the central bank had
achieved its aim with forex intervention, and that the Swissie's
appreciation against the euro and volatility had eased.
The Swiss franc rose to a session high as the comments
assuaged some of the concerns the SNB could intervene to curb
franc strength. However, analysts said intervention could not be
ruled out if the market pushed the Swiss franc too high.
"The main focus this afternoon will be on intervention ... It
seems that the threat of intervention has to remain to stave off
safe haven flows into the Swiss franc," said Jan Poser at
"They will be aiming for around 1.50 euros. If it's in
danger of dropping below 1.50 they will probably intervene again
or at least get the BIS (Bank for International Settlements) to
intervene on their behalf."
The Swiss currency rose as high as 1.5017 francs per euro
<EURCHF=R> after Roth's statement, its highest since May 15,
according to Reuters data.
It pulled back from the day's low of 1.5118 francs hit after
the rate decision and comments from the SNB pledging to act
determinedly to prevent the currency's appreciation against the
The dollar meanwhile fell 0.3 percent to a session low
around 1.0768 francs <CHF=> after earlier rising past the 1.0810
DOLLAR UP VS EURO, STG
At 0922 GMT, the euro was slightly down on the day at
The common currency, however, was comfortably above a
one-month low around $1.3748 touched on Tuesday.
Markets were looking ahead to U.S. jobless claims at 1230
GMT and the Philadelphia Fed index at 1400 GMT
Wednesday's subdued U.S. inflation data the previous day had
dented the U.S. currency earlier in the session as it dampened
speculation of a U.S. interest rate hike by the end of the year.
Sentiment was also hurt by Standard & Poor's announcement it
was lowering its credit rating on 18 U.S. banks on Wednesday,
saying increased regulation and market volatility would hurt the
Frankfurt-based Commerzbank analyst Lutz Karpowitz said
traders may push the euro towards the $1.40 level against the
dollar, but gains were likely to be limited as market players
looked ahead to the U.S. data releases.
Sterling tumbled around 1.2 percent against the dollar to
$1.6207 <GBP=D4>, however, after data showed UK retail sales
fell unexpectedly in May, while public sector net borrowing rose
to a record high [ID:nONS004311].
This helped the dollar rise 0.3 percent on its
trade-weighted index to 80.477 .DXY.
Analysts said many investors were starting to look ahead to
a Federal Reserve policy meeting, which starts on Tuesday, with
the ensuing reaction in U.S. long-term yields seen as key to the
near-term direction of the dollar
(Reporting by Jessica Mortimer; editing by Chris Pizzey)
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