Swiss Surprise

SNB, Swiss Franc, LIBOR, euro floor, CHF, analysis, negative interest rates, findamental, analysis, fx trader, forex

Seemingly out of the blue, the Swiss National Bank abandoned its cap in the Swiss franc (euro floor) and moved deeper into negative interest rates. This has seen the Swiss franc rocket higher against the euro and dollar.  It sent the euro briefly below $1.1600.

The SNB lowered its 3-month LIBOR target to between -0.25% and -1.25%.  The charge for sight deposits over the exemption threshold to -0.75%. Previously the LIBOR target range was -0.25% and -0.75%. 

The euro collapsed from just above CHF1.20 to a little below CHF0.8520 before what looked like intervention brought it back above CHF1.05 in choppy conditions. The marked appreciation of the franc has spurred sharp losses in the Swiss stock market (near 7% at the time of this note) and European bourses are off around 1.8%. Hungary has not completed its restructuring of CHF-denominated loans, and the SNB move has punished the forint.