Swiss Franc Can Count on Further Hikes at the SNB

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The Swiss Franc can count on further interest rate hikes from its central bank to underpin value.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) raised interest rates by a further 50 basis points to 1.5% on Thursday and said more were coming.

"It cannot be ruled out that additional rises in the SNB policy rate will be necessary to ensure price stability over the medium term," said the SNB in a statement detailing its decision.

The central bank said it was necessary to raise rates in order to challenge "renewed" inflationary pressures.

"Despite the events related to Credit Suisse, the SNB has not flinched and decided to raise its interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.5%," says Charlotte de Montpellier, Senior Economist, France and Switzerland at ING Bank.

The Pound to Franc exchange rate was quoted at 1.1265 in the wake of the decision, the Euro to Franc was at 0.9958 and the Dollar to Franc at 0.9134.

"The Swissy rose to a week high against the dollar on the news," says Neil Wilson, Chief Market Analyst at Finalto.

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These data are based on the spread surveyed in a recent survey conducted for Pound Sterling Live by The Money Cloud.

"The Swiss franc rose after the SNB hike," says Francesco Pesole, FX Strategist at ING Bank. "The SNB actively favours a stronger CHF to limit imported inflation."

The reaction is however relatively contained and suggests the market largely expected the decision and guidance.

The SNB was required to opt for another 'large' hike of 50bp as it meets at fewer intervals than its major peers and therefore a 25bp move might have meant that a gap in Swiss policy relative to elsewhere opened up.

This would have meant Swiss bond yields and other financial assets risked being left at a greater discount to those elsewhere, putting downside pressure on the CHF.

It also meant the central bank might risk being caught flat-footed in fighting rising inflation.

The decision therefore underpins the Franc over the medium term.