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Swiss investor sentiment hits 32-month high on weak franc view
February 20, 2013 / 11:06 AM / 5 years ago

Swiss investor sentiment hits 32-month high on weak franc view

* Investor sentiment index at +10.0 in Feb vs -6.9 in Jan

* Economists see likely fall of Swiss franc vs euro

* Inflation, interest rate expectations creeping higher

ZURICH, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Swiss investor sentiment jumped to its highest level in 32 months in February, turning positive for the first time since April 2012 as many more analysts took the view that the Swiss franc will weaken in coming months.

The ZEW investor sentiment rose by 16.9 points in February to 10.0 points, its highest level since June 2010, Credit Suisse, which issues the indicator in cooperation with the German ZEW economic research institute, said on Wednesday.

For the first time in 10 months, more economists saw improvements ahead for the Swiss economy than those who expected it to weaken.

The survey signalled a strong rise in the number of economists expecting the Swiss franc to weaken against the euro following a sudden drop in its value in January, when the franc eased to more than 1.25 per euro for the first time since May 2011.

Of the economists surveyed, 48 percent expect the franc to weaken more in the coming months, up almost 30 percentage points from a month earlier, while just 6 percent see it strengthening, down 3.1 percentage points from a month earlier.

In September 2011 the Swiss National Bank imposed a 1.20 francs per euro cap as a strong run up in the Swiss unit threatened to hurt the economy. On Tuesday, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said an exit from the cap remained “quite far away”.

Expectations that interest rates and inflation could both rise in the coming months are creeping gradually higher, although in both cases the majority of economists surveyed see both remaining stable.

Analysts remained broadly positive on the outlook for the world’s stock markets, although more participants saw European stocks rising than U.S. stocks, a reversal from a month earlier. (Reporting by Martin de Sa‘Pinto)

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