Swiss Franc ETF Lower As SNB 'Stands Ready' On Further Purchases

Includes: FXF
by: Tom Lydon

By John Spence & Tom Lydon

CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (NYSEARCA:FXF) slipped 0.4% in premarket trading Thursday after the Swiss National Bank reiterated its pledge to keep the franc low to help its exporters and economy.

"The Swiss franc is still high. An appreciation of the Swiss franc would compromise price stability and would have serious con sequences for the Swiss economy," the SNB said.

The central bank has set a limit on the Swiss franc of 1.20 versus the euro.

"The minimum exchange rate is an important instrument in avoiding an undesirable tightening of monetary conditions. The SNB will therefore enforce this minimum rate with the utmost determination and, if neccessary , is prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited quantities for this purpose," the central bank said, adding it "stands ready to take further measures at any time."

FXF, the Swiss franc ETF, saw a huge one-year rally starting in mid-2010 as investors nervous over Europe's debt crisis flocked to the safe-haven currency. The SNB was forced to take action to cool the franc's rise.

For example, FXF topped out at $139.91 a share in August 2011. The currency ETF's 2010 low was $85.13 a share, so the fund experienced a 64% rally. FXF closed at $103.15 on Wednesday.

The SNB has nearly doubled its currency holdings to shield the country from the fallout caused by the Eurozone debt crisis, Bloomberg News reports.

The central bank did lower its inflation forecast on Thursday.

"The inflation path is being shifted down, but overall the picture stays the same," said Alexander Koch, an economist at UniCredit, in the Bloomberg article. "Since the cap was set in 2011, their stance has been relatively unchanged. They've made clear that the ceiling is not for fine-tuning, and I expect the SNB's stance to continue."

CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.