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Swiss Franc Jumps, Euro Trims Declines Against U.S. Dollar

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - The Swiss franc rose on Wednesday to its highest level against the euro in four months as rising recession fear in the euro zone led investors to seek safe haven assets like the Swiss currency.

The Swiss franc , rose 0.6% versus the euro to 1.0005 at 1210 GMT, after touching its highest level of 0.9993 against the single currency since March.

Forecasts that the euro zone will likely drop into recession amid energy security issues triggered by the war in Ukraine has encouraged investors to buy the Swiss franc.

"Switzerland is less exposed to Russian fossil fuel imports and this should strengthen the risk of safe haven flows on euro zone growth concerns," said Jane Foley, head of FX strategy at Rabobank in London.

"Simultaneously, speculation has emerged that in view of higher inflation, the Swiss National Bank is less likely to intervene to prevent further franc strength."

Cash held overnight by the SNB fell last week by its largest amount in more than a decade, in a sign of the end of the central bank's forex purchase campaign to weaken the Swiss franc.

The Swiss franc also rose 0.6% against the dollar to 0.9511, touching its highest level against the greenback since April.

The euro trimmed some earlier declines after data showing Spanish 12-month inflation had risen to 10.2% in June, up from 8.7% in May and surpassing 10% for the first time since April 1985.

In earlier London trading, the euro had fallen to a six-day low, after data showed June prices in the German state of North Rhine–Westphalia (NRW) had been 0.1% lower than in May.

"Clearly the strength of Spanish CPI inflation data has undone the pressure on the euro," said Foley, after the NRW June CPI number led "the market to question the hawkishness of the ECB going forward".

At 1200 GMT, there was little reaction to Germany national preliminary CPI data showing inflation unexpectedly cooled off in June. 

Investors were watching for a panel at the ECB Forum in Sintra, Portugal, with three major central bankers speaking.

ECB President Christine Lagarde, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will speak at 1300 GMT.

On Tuesday, Lagarde offered no fresh insight on the path for European interest rates at the ECB's annual forum. 

The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates in July for the first time in a decade, following its global peers, to try to cool accelerating inflation, though economists are divided on the magnitude of any hike.

The euro flattened against the dollar to $1.0519 after dipping as low as $1.0486 earlier.

The dollar index , which measures the greenback against six counterparts, ticked up 0.05% to 104.5 with investors seeking safety in U.S. assets as stocks declined globally due to the mounting risk of a recession. The dollar index stayed, however, below a two-decade high struck two weeks ago.

Reporting by Joice Alves, editing by Bradley Perrett, Mark Heinrich and David Evans

Source: Reuters

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