Bloomberg News

Swiss Franc Gains as Consumer Demand Climbs Before Greek Vote

June 28, 2011

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Swiss franc rose against the euro as investors sought a haven before Greek lawmakers vote on more austerity and consumer demand in Switzerland increased in May, fueling bets the economy can withstand currency gains.

Switzerland’s currency climbed to a record versus the dollar. A gauge of consumption rose to 1.91, the highest since August 2010, from a revised 1.57 in April, Zurich-based UBS AG said in an e-mailed statement today. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called on lawmakers to obey their “patriotic conscience” as they began yesterday to debate a five-year budget plan that’s needed to access more financial aid.

“It seems that the Swiss economy continued to do well,” said Daragh Maher, deputy head of global foreign exchange strategy at Credit Agricole CIB in London. “When you are getting good Swiss numbers and nervousness about Greece, it adds to the case for buying the franc.”

The Swiss currency strengthened 0.1 percent to 1.1924 francs per euro as of 5:17 p.m. in London, leaving it 3 percent stronger this month. It advanced to 1.18064 on June 24, the strongest level since the euro’s 1999 debut. The franc gained 0.6 percent to 83.02 centimes per dollar.

Switzerland’s legal tender has surged 16 percent in the past year, the best performer among 10 developed-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes.

--Editors: Mark McCord, Matthew Brown

To contact the reporter on this story: Lukanyo Mnyanda in Edinburgh News at lmnyanda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Tilles at dtilles@bloomberg.net


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