Euro and Swiss Franc edge up on improved market sentiment

16 Mar 2023

Both the Euro and Swiss Franc made gains on Thursday as markets had a positive reaction to the Swiss National Bank's support for Credit Suisse.

The single currency rose 0.4% to $1.06225 after edging down 1.4% on Wednesday, the largest percentage fall in six months, Reuters news agency reports.

A degree of calm returned to markets as Credit Suisse announced it would borrow as much as $54 billion from the central bank to bolster liquidity and investor confidence following the share price drop on Wednesday of as much as 30%.

This strengthened the Swiss Franc, whilst the Dollar fell 0.92% against the Franc to 0.9248, reversing Wednesday's 2.15% surge, the largest daily rise since 2015.

According to the global head of asset allocation research at Invesco, Paul Jackson, the interconnectedness of the banking system meant any issues within the sector fuelled investor fears. "It's like walking through a forest at night, and if you're nervous and you hear a sound which could be a squirrel, or it could be a bear, you react as if it's a bear."

However, the mood was eased following the announcement of the central bank's support for Credit Suisse.

"Now, Credit Suisse has the clout of (the) Swiss National Bank covering its back, which is a central bank that doesn't mess around in the time of crisis," said senior market analyst at City Index, Matt Simpson.

"So ultimately, I think this is a good thing for market sentiment."

In addition, the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to announce an interest rate decision later in the day (13:15 GMT).

The ECB had signalled a 50-basis point hike at last month's meeting. Yet, "if recent inflation data clearly underpinned the ECB's pledge to hike rates by 50bp in March, the ongoing turmoil in the financial sector is casting doubts on whether policymakers will raise rates at all," according to Francesco Pesole, ING FX strategist.