The Swiss franc is slightly higher on Thursday. USD/CHF is trading at 0.9596, down 0.39% on the day.
Those of us who think “staid and steady” when the Swiss franc comes to mind will be forgiven for not recognizing the currency lately. The Swissie took riders on a roller-coaster in the month of May, as USD/CHF rose 300 points and broke above parity for the first time since December 2019. The upswing didn’t last, as the pair reversed directions and dropped by some 400 points. The Swiss franc has stabilized over the past week after the May volatility. It is noteworthy that the EUR/CHF is trading at a one-month low.
Swiss inflation accelerates
Swiss inflation is moving upwards and hit a 14-year high in May. CPI rose 0.7% MoM, up from 0.4% in April (0.3% exp). On an annualized basis, CPI climbed 2.9%, up from 2.5% in April (2.6% exp.). Inflation remains much lower than the red-hot numbers we’re seeing in the eurozone or the UK, but Switzerland traditionally has enjoyed very low inflation, and higher prices are putting pressure on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to address rising inflationary pressures.
The SNB has maintained an accommodative policy, which includes a benchmark rate of -0.75%, by far the lowest of any major bank. So far, the Bank is not showing any signs of tightening policy by raising rates, although that could change if the Swiss currency continues to appreciate.
Recent US data has been firm, with the notable exception of the housing sector. We’ll get a look at US nonfarm payrolls on Friday. The markets are braced for a slowdown, as the April forecast stands at 325 thousand, after a March gain of 428 thousand. It wasn’t so long ago that the NFP release was the highlight of the week, but with inflation, the Ukraine war and the OPEC+ meeting, NFP will be sharing the spotlight. Still, it should be considered a market-mover for the US dollar.
- There is resistance at 0.9624 and 0.9704
- USD/CHF has support at 0.9497 and 0.9417
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