ZURICH (Reuters) - The amount of cash kept with the Swiss National Bank (SNB) rose last week by the most since Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union, data showed on Monday, suggesting the SNB stepped into currency markets in the aftermath of the U.S. election.
Although the weekly sight deposits data are for the week ending Nov. 18, the figures give the first indication of most of the SNB’s intervention after Republican Donald Trump surprisingly won the Nov. 8 presidential election against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
This is due to a holiday in the United States and the way in which the data are calculated.
The SNB had said it was ready to intervene in the currency market if the outcome of the U.S. election triggered a rush into the safe-haven franc.
Domestic sight deposits, an indication of how inclined banks are to find a safe home for their money, stood at 458.403 billion Swiss francs ($454.54 billion), up from 449.849 billion francs the previous week, SNB data showed.
Total sight deposits, which include other deposits on sight in Swiss francs, rose to 524.657 billion francs from 519.853 billion francs in the previous week, the biggest weekly rise since the Brexit vote in June.
A rise in sight deposits can indicate intervention in foreign exchange markets by the SNB.
The SNB declined to comment on the increase.
The central bank is using negative interest rates and an unspecified amount of foreign currency interventions in an effort to weaken the franc and protect Swiss exports.
($1 = 1.0085 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Angelika Gruber; Editing by Michael Shields