Market action set to gather pace

After another week of Swiss franc losses against the dollar, with the franc hitting a fresh 11-year low against the US currency, traders can look forward to even more frenzied action on the foreign exchanges over the coming days.

This content was published on September 10, 2000 minutes

The dollar's surge against both the euro and the Swiss franc was a feature of the markets last week. Dealers are expecting the trend to continue over the coming sessions as sentiment on the market continues to support the dollar and knock the euro lower.

Despite the failure of last week's pleasing Swiss jobless figures to support the franc, hopes are mounting that the Swiss National Bank's quarterly monetary policy assessment on Thursday could trigger a Swiss franc-based currency move - rather than just more euro mimicry.

There is some speculation that the Swiss National Bank could tighten monetary policy at this meeting.

Oil markets will also be carefully watched for any reaction to this weekend's meeting of oil ministers from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. Oil prices have surged sharply of late, with knock-on price increases also hitting Swiss consumers and industry.

Ministers were discussing production levels ahead of an OPEC summit at the end of the month. Any indication that production might increase would no doubt bring oil prices somewhat lower.

On the corporate front, half time numbers are out from Swiss Re in Zurich on Wednesday. A world leader in the reinsurance market, Swiss Re announced in February that its outlook for 2000 was optimistic based on a positive trend in non-life policy renewals.

Other corporate events include the annual general meeting for the luxury goods group Richemont on Thursday and on Friday telecommunication group Ascom of Berne is holding an extraordinary meeting with its shareholders.

by Tom O'Brien

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