September 30, 2016 / 12:27 PM / a year ago

Swiss franc drops on concerns SNB may have intervened

The new 50 Swiss Franc note is seen at a market stall after its release by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in Bern, Switzerland April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The safe-haven Swiss franc fell sharply on Friday, having earlier hit a two-month high on worries about the European banking sector, with some traders speculating that the Swiss central bank was intervening to cap the currency’s strength.

The euro had hit a two-month low of 1.08125 francs EURCHF= earlier in the London session, as concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank weighed on the single currency and undermined risk appetite across global markets.

But it rebounded to hit a one-week high of 1.09135 francs at 0958 GMT, rising 0.4 percent in a matter of minutes. It was last trading at 1.0875 francs, still up 0.3 percent on the day, while the single currency was broadly weaker against most major currencies. [FRX/]

The Swiss National Bank which often intervenes by selling francs and buying the euro in order to cap the currency’s strength, declined to comment on market talk of currency intervention.

But traders and analysts were not convinced, given the sharp move in the London session.

“The SNB has made it clear that it considers intervention as one of its policy tools and this is likely to limit upside potential for the Swiss franc,” said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank.

The dollar also climbed 1 percent to a 9-day high of 0.9770 francs CHF=, having hit a one-month low on Thursday. It was last trading at 0.9745 francs.

The Swiss franc was bolstered by expectations that Middle Eastern investment houses could pull out money of the United States and into alternative safe-haven liquid currencies like the franc.

Those expectations got a boost after the U.S. Congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve legislation that will allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States to seek damages from the Saudi government.

Reporting by Anirban Nag; Editing by

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