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Swiss National Bank shocks markets by scrapping peg to euro

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Alice Baghdjian and Silke Koltrowitz
Thursday, January 15, 2015

ZURICH, Switzerland -- The Swiss National Bank shocked financial markets today by scrapping a 3-year-old cap on the franc, sending the safe-haven currency soaring through the 1.20 per euro limit and stoking fears about the export-reliant Swiss economy.

Only days ago SNB officials had described the cap, introduced at the height of the euro-zone financial crisis in 2011 to prevent a surging franc from hobbling growth, as the cornerstone of the bank's monetary policy.

The U-turn, which sent the franc soaring nearly 30 percent against the euro in the chaotic first minutes of trading, came a week before the European Central Bank is expected to unveil a massive bond-buying program that risked forcing the SNB into massive sales of francs for euros to defend the cap. ...

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