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Forex News: Swiss Franc Slides As Soft Inflation Data Spurs

Swiss Franc Slides As Soft Inflation Data Spurs SNB Rate Cut

04/04/2024 - 06:00:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Swiss franc weakened against other major currencies in the European session on Thursday, as Swiss consumer price inflation unexpectedly weakened to the lowest since September 2021 signaled a growing chance that the Swiss National Bank will reduce policy rate at its next meeting in June.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that the consumer prices logged an annual increase of 1.0 percent in March, following a 1.2 percent rise in February. This was the lowest since September 2021, when the rate was 0.9 percent. Economists had forecast prices to climb 1.3 percent.

On a monthly basis, the consumer price index remained flat. Core consumer prices gained 0.1 percent on month in March and increased 1.0 percent from the same period last year.

There is a growing chance that the Swiss National Bank will act at its next meeting in June, the economist added.

In March, the SNB unexpectedly reduced the policy rate by 25 basis points to 1.50 percent.

The SNB forecast consumer prices to rise 1.4 percent this year and 1.2 percent in 2025.

The European stocks rose after revised data showed economic activity in the eurozone's private sector expanded for the first time in ten months in March. The eurozone services PMI improved to 51.5 from 50.2 in February.

Minutes from the European Central Bank's latest policy meeting is awaited later in the day.

In the Asian trading today, the Swiss franc held steady against its major rivals.

In the European trading now, the Swiss franc fell to nearly one year lows of 0.9851 against the euro and 1.1486 against the pound, from early highs of 0.9786 and 1.1421, respectively. If the franc extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 0.99 against the euro and 1.15 against the pound.

Moving away from an early 3-day high of 0.9026 against the U.S. dollar, the franc edged down to 0.9074. The franc may test support near the 0.91 region.

Against the yen, the franc dropped to 167.14 from an early high of 167.99. On the downside, 166.00 is seen as the next support level for the franc.

Looking ahead, the ECB is set to publish the account of the monetary policy meeting of the Governing Council held on March 6 and 7, at 7:30 am ET.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless data and U.S. and Canada trade data for February are slated for release.

At 12:15 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin will give a new speech on the economic outlook before the Home Building Association of Richmond, in Richmond, U.S.

Half-an-hour later, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Austan Goolsbee will participate in a moderated question-and-answer session before the Multi-Chamber Economic Outlook Luncheon and Expo, in Oak Brook, U.S.

At 2:00 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester will participate in a conversation on the economic outlook before virtual Global Interdependence Center Executive Briefing, in Cleveland, U.S.

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