The Swiss franc has fallen to one-month lows versus most major counterparts after SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said it will continue to be active in the forex market to keep the exchange rates in tandem with the country's monetary policy.
The franc had fallen 20% or more against other majors on 15 January when the central bank scrapped the exchange rate floor with the euro and lowered interest rates sharply to cushion the impact of subsequent franc appreciation.
The USD/CHF rose to 0.9454, its highest since 15 January, making a 0.9% fall in the franc on the day. From the day of the big decision, the Swiss currency has dropped more than 8% against the greenback.
The EUR/GBP rose to 1.0752, and the franc is now 6% off the 15 January close against the euro and 3.5% down so far this month.
The Swiss currency has corrected most against the pound. From the SNB action day, the franc has weakened more than 9% and so far this month, it is down 5.2% against sterling.
The comments by Jordan aided the franc-negative sentiment and the market is now waiting for the January trade data.
"It (Swiss National Bank) will continue to take the exchange rate situation into consideration when formulating its monetary policy. It will therefore remain active in the foreign exchange market, should this prove necessary in order to influence monetary conditions," Jordan said in a speech.
The SNB discontinued the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro in January and lowered the interest rate on sight deposit account balances that exceed a given exemption threshold by 0.5 percentage points, to −0.75%. It also lowered the target range for the three-month Libor to between -1.25% and −0.25%, from −0.75% and 0.25%.
Switzerland's trade surplus had widened to CHF 1.51bn in December from CHF 0.43bn a year earlier as exports surged 7.2% and the consensus is for the surplus to increase further at the start of the new year.