During early European deals on Friday, the Swiss franc pared its Asian session gains against the British pound and hit an 18-day low as Switzerland's CPI fell more than expected in March.
The Federal Statistical Office said today that Swiss consumer prices declined 0.4% in March from the previous year, faster than 0.1% fall expected by economists. In February, consumer prices grew 0.2%.
Month-on-month, consumer prices were down 0.3% in March, while economists expected prices to stay stable.
On the other hand, the franc reversed its Asian session's downtrend versus the US dollar and the Japanese yen, while showed choppy trading against the European currency.
Against the US dollar, the Swiss franc gained ground after hitting a low of 1.1392 at 2:30 am ET Friday. The franc is currently trading at 1.1354, compared to 1.1342 hit late New York Thursday. The next upside target level for the Swiss currency is seen around 1.117.
The G20 leaders clinched a $1.1 trillion deal yesterday to counter the worldwide economic crisis and the United States said it would change accounting rules to allow banks more flexibility in valuing toxic assets.
Global leaders met in London yesterday to face the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The attendees expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, with leaders agreeing to both do whatever is necessary to stimulate the global economy, as well as enact regulatory reforms to strengthen the financial system.
The Swiss franc largely bounced between 1.5280 and 1.5251 against the European currency during early deals on Friday. The franc that closed Thursday's North American session at 1.5268 against the euro is currently quoted at 1.5270.
Germany's Federal Statistical Office said today in a report that the import price index declined 6.4% year-over-year in February, after falling 5.4% in January. This was the biggest price decline since 1999, when prices fell 6.6%. A year ago, prices were up 4.8%.
Meanwhile, Italy's statistical office ISTAT announced that the producer price index or PPI dropped 2.8% year-over-year in February, after falling 2% in January. Economists were looking for a decline of 3%.
The Swiss franc that climbed to 1.6669 against the British pound at 2:25 am ET Friday weakened thereafter. The franc declined to a 18-day low of 1.6813 against the pound, compared to Thursday's closing value of 1.6704. On the downside, 1.704 is seen as the next target level for the Swiss currency.
In economic news, UK Government net reserves increased US$378 million in March to US$28.23 billion from US$27.85 billion at end of February, the HM Treasury said today. Meanwhile, gross reserves totaled US$49.29 billion, larger than the US$48.64 billion in the prior month.
UK's Halifax house price index dropped 1.9% month-on-month in March, lower than February's 2.3% fall, a report from HBOS showed today. Economists had expected a monthly fall of 1.8% in March.
The Swiss franc that closed Thursday's New York deals at 85.92 against the Japanese yen rose to 88.38 during today's early Asian deals. This set the highest mark for the franc since October 21, 2008. Thereafter, the franc-yen pair reversed its direction and declined to 87.32 at 2:30 am ET. If the pair falls further, 85.1 is seen as the next target level.
Turning to the US, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly non-farm payroll report at 8:30 AM ET. Economists estimate that the U.S. economy lost 656,000 jobs in March and look for an unemployment rate of 8.5%.
The ISM is scheduled to release the results of its non-manufacturing survey at 10 AM ET. The non-manufacturing index is likely to show a reading of 42 for March.
Bernanke is due to deliver closing keynote address to Richmond Fed Bank's 2009 Credit Markets Symposium in Charlotte, North Caroline at 12 PM ET.
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