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Swiss economy minister says SNB working to weaken franc

Overnight stays at Swiss hotels eased just 0.5 per cent in the first eight months of the year as domestic travellers helped largely offset fewer foreign visitors to a country whose franc currency soared against the euro this year, data showed.

[ZURICH] The Swiss government sees the country's central bank working towards bringing the Swiss franc to purchasing power parity, which is well above 1.20 francs per euro, Switzerland's economy minister told parliament on Wednesday.

"The government acknowledges that the Swiss National Bank is working hard to resolve the purchasing power relationship with respect to main markets in the European Union, and with them the euro, so that the we travel in the direction of purchasing power parity," Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said. "This journey is not yet finished, as purchasing power remains significantly above 1.20 Swiss francs per euro."

Mr Schneider-Ammann said the government remained confident in the independent SNB, which last week signalled it will keep interest rates negative for the foreseeable future and was not targeting a specific exchange rate for the "significantly overvalued" franc against the euro.

The euro now trades at around 1.0850 francs.


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