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Central bank leaves interest rates unchanged

Switzerland's central bank has decided to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.25 per cent.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) said the risk of deflation was weak, with forecasts for 2009 hovering at -0.5 per cent. The bank expects inflation rates to turn positive in 2010 at 0.5 per cent and at 0.3 per cent in 2011.

The target range for the three-month Libor rate – the interest one bank charges another for lending money – would remain at zero to 0.75 per cent, a low level established in March.

The SNB also said it would continue to acquire Swiss franc bonds and oppose a rise in the franc against the euro.

The Swiss stock exchange opened stable on Thursday morning and remained largely unchanged at 5,302 points as the announcement was made. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR