Politics
CNY

FOREX-Swiss franc slumps in mini 'flash-crash'; dollar up on trade angst

* Dollar stays firm as investors seek safe haven

* Franc drops 1 pct in mini 'flash-crash'

* Onshore yuan falls vs dollar as China markets reopen

By Tom Finn

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The dollar rose on Monday asconcerns grew that U.S.-China talks would not heal a rift overtrade between the world's largest economies and the Swiss francslid in a mini "flash-crash".

A brief 1 percent drop in the franc gave currency traders ashock during Monday's Asia session.

A Japanese public holiday meant that markets were quiet andthin liquidity helped cause a mini recurrence of the "flashcrash" that hit foreign exchange markets early last month.

Within a matter of minutes, the Swissie slid from 1.0004 perdollar around 2200 GMT on Sunday to as low as 1.0095, the lowestsince November, before reversing the move almost as suddenly totrade 0.2 percent stronger on the day.

The move was similar to the whiplash that saw the yen jump 7percent against the Australian dollar early on Jan. 3, whenJapanese markets were nearing the end of a week-long New Yearholiday break.

"Since there was no material news during the early Asiansession, the move seems owed mainly to some large orders beingexecuted in an environment of very thin liquidity," said MariosHadjikyriacos, an analyst at broking firm XM.

Other analysts downplayed the move, though.

"There's nothing to comment on... a 1 percent move in thinliquidity is not a crash. If anyone knows about seismic FXmarket moves... it's the Swiss National Bank," said Viraj Patel,a currency strategist at Arkera, a financial technology firm.

The franc soared as much as 30 percent in 2015 after the SNBshocked markets by scrapping the franc's peg to the euro.

At 12:30 GMT the Swiss franc CHF=EBS was down 0.2 percentat 1.002 francs per dollar.

That was largely due to broad strength in the dollar.

The greenback is being lifted by its safe-haven appeal asinvestors, worried about a sharp global economic slowdown, pileinto the world's most liquid currency.

The U.S. currency is headed for an eighth consecutive day ofgains.

High-level talks in Beijing this week are a leading focusfor investors, many of whom see little prospect for a trade dealand instead expect an extension of the March 1 deadline fordeciding whether to increase tariffs.

Emerging market and China-sensitive currencies such as theAustralian dollar are most likely to be affected.

The dollar's recent strength has emerged despite the FederalReserve striking a cautious tone at its policy meeting inJanuary.

"The U.S. currency is currently in demand as a safe haven.This is reflected in the fact that the Swiss franc and theJapanese yen - also typical safe haven currencies - have alsobeen able to appreciate since the start of the month," said ThuLan Nguyen, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Germany.

The dollar index .DXY , a gauge of its value versus sixmajor peers, was 0.2 percent higher at 96.83.

On Monday morning, when China markets reopened after aone-week holiday break, the dollar was 0.5 percent higher versusthe yuan CNY= at 6.7753.

The euro EUR=EBS was a touch lower versus the greenback at$1.1315.

The euro came under pressure as core European governmentdebt yields touched their lowest in over two years. The singlecurrency has lost 2.5 percent so far this month.

The European Commission on Thursday sharply cut itsforecasts for euro zone economic growth for this year and next.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

CNY

Other Topics

Stocks World Markets

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More