GBP/CHF Remains Rangebound

GBP/CHF has been trading within a fairly narrow range over the last few days with little data from either currency zone. If anything, the Swiss unit has strengthened slightly against sterling after Switzerland released better retail sales and unemployment data. The graph below shows GBP/CHF movement over the last week.


The release of Swiss retail sales data by the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday showed that sales turnover had recovered in February, growing by 1% year-on-year, following a 0.1% drop in January. The figures, which do not take fuel sales into account, showed retail turnover was up 1.1% after staying flat a month earlier. The franc gained as a result, hitting a five day high against the US dollar and a six day high against the euro. The franc advanced to 1.4742 against sterling.

The Swiss currency’s gains were kept in check however, as the UK posted strong industrial production data for February early on Wednesday morning. Figures from the Office For National Statistics showed that industrial production had increased by the most in eight months, three times higher than the figure expected my most analysts. The ONS said the growth was driven by a strong increase in manufacturing output which had hit a three year high, supporting expectations of robust gross domestic product growth for the first quarter.

Industrial production rose 0.9% in February, beating forecasts by 0.6%. Year on year, production rose 2.7%, well ahead of the forecast of 2.2% growth.

The figures gave the pound a boost against most of the other majors, rising above 1.68 against the dollar and into the mid 1.21’s against the euro. Against the franc, the reaction was muted as the Swiss currency was still benefitting from increased support after the retail sales figures.

Exchange rate movements have been fairly subdued of late as market players eagerly await the next major central bank announcement before committing to positions.

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