Franc Flat as Trade Balance Decreases Even as Export Grows

The Swiss franc was flat today as Swiss exports advanced, easing concerns about a new intervention by the Swiss National Bank, but trade balance surplus decreased anyway.
The Swiss Federal Statistical Office reported that nation’s exports advanced by 6.1 percent in December from a month ago, following the drop by 4.8 percent in November. The growth of exports decreased concerns about a negative impact of the strong franc on Swiss exporters and reduced probability on an intervention from the SNB. Still, trade balance shrank 2.95 billion francs to 2.07 billion.
Other economic indicators weren’t very positive, suggesting that the Swiss economy is struggling and an intervention is still possible. Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in December, compared to the median forecast of 1.6 percent, while the Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 49.1 in December to 47.3 in January.
USD/CHF was slightly up from 0.9163 to 0.9173 today as of 5:52 GMT. EUR/CHF rose from 1.2047 to 1.2056, while CHF/JPY went down from 83.12 to 83.04. The franc was rising against the dollar and the yen in January and the currency was even appreciating versus the euro, though gains slowed as the franc nears the ceiling set by the SNB.

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