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Franc hits 30-month high against dollar

The United States currency fell on Friday to its lowest rate against the Swiss franc since March 2008, at one point dipping below the SFr0.98 barrier.

A currency trader told the Reuters news agency that disappointing economic data from the US and Europe had revived fears among investors.

However, in its quarterly bulletin published on Friday, the Swiss National Bank said that more than half the companies it surveyed in July and August reported that the strong franc had not had any noticeable effect on their business.

Just over a quarter said they had experienced mildly or strongly negative effects, while a fifth even reported positive effects.

The manufacturing sector was the worst hit, with 60 per cent of companies reporting difficulties, mainly in the form of sharp cuts in profit margins and a decline in sales.

The positive effects were the result of lower import prices and lower investment costs.

The bank’s survey was conducted when the franc was being exchanged against the euro at a rate between 1.39 and 1.30.

On Friday the rate was SFr1.31 to the euro.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR