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08/05Swiss Foreign Currency Reserves Inch Up in July
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Swiss sight deposits dip, pointing to reduced SNB FX intervention

06/20/2022 | 08:00am EDT

ZURICH, June 20 (Reuters) - The level of Swiss sight deposits fell slightly, according to data published on Monday, indicating the Swiss National Bank has dialled back its currency market interventions that aimed to weaken the Swiss franc.

The total level of sight deposits -- cash held overnight by commercial banks with the SNB -- fell to 751.83 billion Swiss francs ($779.99 billion) last week from 753.08 billion francs.

Normally, an increase indicates that the SNB has been selling newly created francs to the commercial banks, whose accounts with the central bank increase as a result.

The operation has been a cornerstone of the SNB's campaign to weaken the safe-haven franc in recent years, due to concerns the currency's high value was damaging Switzerland's export-based economy and contributing to deflation.

The SNB declined to comment.

Last week the SNB changed tack, hiking its main interest rate for the first time in 15 years and saying it would tolerate the strength of the franc unless there was an "excessive appreciation" of the currency.

SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said the franc was no longer highly valued, due to higher inflation in other countries.

The decline in sight deposits did not surprise Karsten Junius, an economist at J. Safra Sarasin.

"The SNB has made it overly clear that they do not intend to intervene in the FX-market to prevent a stronger Swiss franc as long as developments are smooth," he said.

"Given their inflation forecast of above 2% in Q1 2025 it is clear that a measured appreciation of the CHF would be welcome by the SNB as it would help keep imported goods prices down."

UBS economist Alessandro Bee said he would be surprised if the SNB had intervened recently, especially after Thursday's hawkish tone.

Still, as sight deposits generally reflect interventions from the first part of the week, this week's data doesn’t give great insight into happened after Thursday, he said.

"We may wait for next week to get a clearer picture," he said.

($1 = 0.9639 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (AUD/CHF) 0.19% 0.67005 Delayed Quote.0.70%
BRITISH POUND / SWISS FRANC (GBP/CHF) -0.43% 1.14353 Delayed Quote.-6.82%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (CAD/CHF) -0.04% 0.73728 Delayed Quote.2.13%
CHINESE YUAN RENMINBI / SWISS FRANC (CNY/CHF) 0.19% 0.139824 Delayed Quote.-2.81%
DANISH KRONE / SWISS FRANC (DKK/CHF) -0.38% 12.963 Delayed Quote.-6.55%
EURO / SWISS FRANC (EUR/CHF) -0.40% 0.96791 Delayed Quote.-6.43%
HONGKONG-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (HKD/CHF) 0.24% 12.026 Delayed Quote.2.59%
INDIAN RUPEE / SWISS FRANC (INR/CHF) 0.04% 0.011832 Delayed Quote.-2.76%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) -0.42% 0.7053 Delayed Quote.-10.59%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (NZD/CHF) 0.18% 0.60686 Delayed Quote.-3.28%
RUSSIAN ROUBLE / SWISS FRANC (RUB/CHF) -0.74% 0.015423 Delayed Quote.27.85%
SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK 0.00% 5900 Delayed Quote.12.60%
SINGAPORE-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (SGD/CHF) 0.04% 0.6873 Delayed Quote.1.80%
SWEDISH KRONA / SWISS FRANC (SEK/CHF) -0.99% 0.092645 Delayed Quote.-7.02%
US DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (USD/CHF) 0.17% 0.94286 Delayed Quote.3.32%
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