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(Bloomberg) -- There is a new volatility leader in town and it’s not the Russian ruble.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows that price swings in the Swiss franc surpassed those on the ruble, the world’s most volatile currency of the past 12 months, after Switzerland’s central bank unexpectedly abandoned a cap on its value on Jan. 15. Fluctuations in the franc jumped to five times of those in the Russian currency on a 24-hour basis that day and they’re still higher, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“What the Swiss central bank announced was a major surprise for the market,” Piotr Matys, an emerging-markets foreign-exchange strategist at Rabobank International in London, said by phone Jan. 16. “There is still a lot of negativity surrounding the ruble, but in terms of volatility, I think that the worst could be behind.”
The surge in franc volatility to 261 percent followed the Swiss National Bank’s move to abandon the three-year-long cap, which sent the currency soaring 23 percent to 0.97554 per euro.
Ruble volatility has spiked since Russia allowed it to float freely in November, accelerating a depreciation triggered by plummeting oil prices and sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. Price variations jumped to 245 percent on Dec. 16 after the Bank of Russia raised its benchmark interest rate to 17 percent to bolster the currency. The ruble remains the most volatile in emerging markets.
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