Swiss want central bank to fight franc's rise: poll

AFP - [email protected] • 22 Aug, 2011 Updated Mon 22 Aug 2011 10:01 CEST
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Two out of three Swiss want the country's central bank to stem the franc's rise and over a quarter are calling for an exchange rate ceiling against the euro, according to a poll published on Sunday.

The poll, commissioned by the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung, found that 63 percent of respondents want further Swiss National Bank (SNB) interventions to stop the currency's rise.  

The franc, considered a safe haven currency, has risen around 20 percent against the euro and 25 percent against the dollar since 2009, as investors flee economic turmoil abroad.  

The poll of 1,004 conducted between August 18 and 20 also found that 27 percent of respondents wanted the SNB to institute an exchange ceiling against the euro, "aiming at 1.15 or 1.20 francs per euro".  

It also confirmed consumer complaints that the currency's rise has not translated into lower prices at home, with a third of respondents saying they had given up purchasing expensive products, and an equal amount saying they went shopping abroad.  

In separate articles, the SonntagsZeitung reported that Switzerland's supermarket chains were already feeling an impact from cross-border shopping, with Migros, the country's biggest supermarket mulling job cuts, and Coop, the number two, warning its 2011 growth will be lower than expected.  

Last Wednesday, the Swiss central bank announced the third round of liquidity measures in two weeks to cool demand for the franc. 

But the measure appeared to have limited effect. On Friday, the franc ended the day trading at 1.1307 franc per euro and 0.7851 franc per dollar.



AFP 2011/08/22 10:01

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