Euro jumps, stocks retreat after Swiss move

Switzerland’s central bank stepped in to stop investors driving up the franc on Tuesday, sending the euro up nearly 9 percent and stifling a tentative European stock recovery from sharp losses a day earlier.

Core German debt yields, however, stayed near historic lows, well below 2 percent, signaling a frenzied search for safety was continue.

European banking stocks, battered by fears of exposure to both euro zone peripheral debt and a U.S. lawsuit over mortgage-backed securities, added to Monday’s losses.

The Swiss National Bank whipped up the markets, saying it was setting a minimum exchange rate target of 1.20 francs to the euro that it will enforce by buying foreign currency in unlimited quantities.

The franc has soared against the euro and the dollar in recent months as investors have bought the currency as a safe place for their money given the U.S. and euro zone debt crises.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell