Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- The Swiss franc strengthened to its highest level against the euro in four months as Credit Suisse Group AG said the country’s central bank may tolerate a stronger currency.

The franc strengthened against all 16 of its major peers as stocks fell and demand for haven assets climbed. The Swiss National Bank frequently complains the local currency is overvalued, and President Thomas Jordan said last month that he’d cut the bank’s minus 0.75 percent deposit rate further if necessary to keep the franc in check. The currency remains “significantly overvalued,” Jordan said in Vevey, Switzerland on Tuesday.

The franc advanced 0.7 percent to 1.0781 per euro as of 6:09 p.m. London time, the strongest since June. That took it beyond 1.08 per euro for the fifth time in the second half of the year. On the earlier occasions, the currency snapped back, boosting speculation the SNB was defending an unofficial limit on the franc. The central bank previously capped the currency at 1.20 per euro before abandoning the defense in January 2015.

“Domestic factors and international developments may challenge the current monetary policy of the Swiss National Bank in the coming months,” Credit Suisse economist Maxime Botteron said in a note to clients on Tuesday. The economist added that the SNB is likely to become “less active in the foreign exchange market in the course of 2017” and said Credit Suisse doesn’t believe “there is an unofficial exchange rate floor” at 1.08 or 1.05 per euro.

--With assistance from Zoe Schneeweiss and Catherine Bosley To contact the reporter on this story: Charlotte Ryan in London at cryan147@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Goodman at dgoodman28@bloomberg.net, Boris Korby

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