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Bank holds interest rate and growth forecast

The Swiss central bank kept its key interest rate and 2011 growth forecast unchanged on Thursday, but warned that "downside risks predominate."

“The Swiss National Bank is maintaining its expansionary monetary policy,” it said in a statement.

“The target range for the three-month Libor remains at 0.0 to 0.75 percent, and the SNB intends to keep the Libor within the lower part of the target range at around 0.25 percent,” it added.

The central bank warned however that mostly negative risks surrounded the economy, including the eurozone’s debt problems which have led to a significant drop of the euro against the Swiss franc.

Nevertheless, it maintained its growth forecast for 2011 at 2.0 percent, noting that despite the strong franc and ensuing pressure on the export industry, “the economy continues to benefit from robust international demand”.