ZURICH, March 7 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank’s foreign exchange reserves fell in February, data showed on Thursday, as the franc stayed weaker than the 1.20 per euro limit the central bank imposed in September 2011.
The SNB held 427.707 billion Swiss francs ($451.88 billion)in foreign currency at the end of February, compared with 429.455 in January, revised from an originally reported 427.049 billion, preliminary data calculated according to the standards of the International Monetary Fund showed.
The SNB capped the soaring franc in September 2011 to help stave off recession and the threat of deflation and was forced to intervene heavily last year as the euro zone crisis flared, swelling its already large foreign currency reserves.
The SNB’s foreign exchange reserves peaked at almost 430 billion francs last September, or over 70 percent of annual output, but have gradually fallen as tension in the euro zone lessened, allowing the franc to weaken away from the 1.20 limit. ($1 = 0.9465 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson)