If you thought you’ve seen it all on the FX markets, the Swiss National Bank begs to differ. This morning the Swiss National Bank has decided that direct intervention in the market is an option no more, deciding to drop interest rates deep into negative territory at 0.75% and abandon the 1.20 EUR/CHF exchange rate floor.
A slew of stops have been triggered across platforms with the euro selling off massively against the US dollar. There was a gap between 1.20 and 0.80 cents in the EUR/CHF exchange rates, as some ECN platforms are currently showing the exchange rates around 0.88 euro cents to the Swiss franc.
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Brokerages are reporting that balances of a number of clients are going deep into negative territory–since 2011 the EUR/CHF exchange rate floor has been widely abused by speculators with tight stop losses to markup short-term gains hoping on an eventual move higher.
Throughout the past several years there has been an overwhelmingly heavy exposure by traders betting on continuing intervention by the Swiss National Bank to cover their positions and essentially take a “risk free” bet. As is normally the case, when it comes to markets there’s no such thing as a risk-free bet!