March 19, 2020 / 7:02 AM / 15 days ago

Swiss National Bank increased forex purchases in 2019

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is pictured during a federal council meeting on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bern, Switzerland, March 13, 2020. Picture taken March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank increased its foreign currency interventions to 13.2 billion Swiss francs (11.81 billion pounds) during 2019, nearly six times more than a year earlier, the central bank said on Thursday.

The amount was an increase from the 2.3 billion francs the SNB had spent on foreign currency purchases in 2018 to weaken the franc, according to figures in its annual report.

The central bank, due to give its latest update on monetary policy later on Thursday, appears to have reentered the forex markets in a big way this year to slow the franc’s recent rise that has been driven by fears over the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields

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