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Bad markets hit SNB third-quarter profit

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) posted a profit of SFr2.5 billion ($2.15 billion) for the third quarter, it announced on Friday.

However, Switzerland's central bank said that overall for the first nine months of 2008 it had made a loss of SFr895 million. In 2007, it earned SFr5.4 billion over the same period.

The SNB said that the considerable recovery of the United States dollar and the rise in the price of gold had both contributed to the quarterly result.

But it added that developments in the stock market had had a negative impact.

Over the first three quarters of 2008, the SNB lost SFr2.4 billion on foreign currency investments, SFr1.9 billion on exchange rate losses and another SFr1.6 billion on investments in shares.

It earned SFr1.2 billion on returns on interest-bearing securities.