On Sunday the Swiss people voted “No” in a referendum, known as the Save Our Swiss Gold initiative. The referendum result was expected, however the risk of a “Yes” vote had been weighing on the Swiss Franc, and the SNB’s potential to protect the EURCHF 1.20 floor.
“The SNB will continue to enforce the minimum exchange rate with the utmost determination and is prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited quantities to this end. The SNB will take further measures immediately if required.” SNB press release (30th November 2014)
In early trade in Asia on Sunday night, EURCHF gapped higher on the open, trading 1.2040 as traders priced in the referendum result.
The pair had looked to be testing the SNB’s line in the sand as it trended lower, however the referendum result has given the central bank some reprieve. The bank has reinforced its position of protecting the 1.20 level, and with the Gold referendum result passed, they are likely to verbally intervene further.
Tax and Immigration
At the same time as the Gold vote the Swiss people also rejected to curb tax breaks for foreigners, and to tighten up immigration rules. These had been highlighted as potentially damaging for the Swiss economy due to the high concentration of income from international finance and accompanying services.
Following the result of the referendum, Gold was offered in early trade Monday, falling $20 from Friday’s close. The Swiss Gold initiative would have required the SNB to repatriate its gold holdings, and to increase their assets to 20% of the yellow metal. It would have also meant that they would be unable to sell Gold in the future, reducing the central banks flexibility and the would have put the Swiss Franc cap in jeopardy.