August 12, 2019 / 9:25 AM / a month ago

Swiss sight deposits jump signals more SNB forex intervention

FILE PHOTO: A Swiss flag is pictured in front of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in Bern, Switzerland May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse//File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Sight deposits at the Swiss National Bank rose by 2.77 billion Swiss francs (£2.36 billion) in the week to Aug. 9, suggesting the SNB had stepped up intervention on foreign exchange markets to rein in the safe-haven currency.

Sight deposits held by commercial banks at the central bank - a proxy for currency interventions - had risen by 1.6 billion francs in the week ending Aug. 2 and by 1.7 billion francs the week before.

“I assume the SNB intervened. This is the biggest rise in sight deposits since mid-April 2017,” said Credit Suisse analyst Maxime Botteron.

At that time a Presidential election in France saw French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen stand against now President Emmanuel Macron, fuelling concerns about European politics and driving the franc up against the euro.

The SNB declined to comment on the rise in sight deposits.

The franc has recently hit more than two-year highs against the euro as escalations in the Chinese-American trade war spook financial markets.

Reporting by Angelika Gruber, Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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