USD/CHF – Flat ahead of SNB rate decision

The Swiss franc is almost unchanged on Wednesday. USD/CHF is trading at 0.8838 in the North American session, down 0.04% on the day.

Will the Swiss National Bank cut rates again?

Switzerland’s central bank will announce its rate decision on Thursday and the markets are on edge. Will the Swiss National Bank lower rates or hold? The SNB last met in March and that meeting was memorable, as policy makers shocked the markets with a quarter-point cut, bringing the cash rate to 1.50%. Investors had expected the SNB to continue to maintain rates at the March 21st meeting, but the SNB decided to respond to declines in inflation and growth and became the first major central bank to lower rates this year.

The Swiss franc took a bath and fell 1.2% against the US dollar the day of the March meeting, its second-to-worst daily performance this year. The Swissie proceeded to lose more ground in the following weeks but has recovered almost completely. Economists are split 50/50 on whether the SNB will cut on Thursday, while the money markets have cut expectations of a rate cut to 60%, compared to 80% just one month ago. The ultra-cautious SNB has been mum, with no public comments from Bank policy makers over the past three weeks, which has only intensified the suspense.

Inflation has been steady in the upper half of the SNB’s target range of 0% to 2% and Swiss growth has been steady, which would support the case to hold rates. On the other hand, exports have been weak and the Swiss franc has appreciated 3.3% against the US dollar since May 30th. A rate cut by the SNB could weigh on the Swiss franc and make Swiss exports more attractive on world markets.

The uncertainty ahead of the SNB meeting makes this a live meeting and could translate into volatility from the Swiss franc on Thursday.

USD/CHF Technical

  • There is support at 0.8809 and 0.8777
  • 0.8860 and 0.8892 are the next resistance lines

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental and macroeconomic analysis, Kenny Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in major online financial publications including, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.