Precise Investors


Investors rush to Swiss franc, yen amid Middle East tensions


The Swiss franc climbed more than 1% to hit 0.9011 per dollar and the yen was nearly 0.2% higher at 154.39 per dollar

Investors rushed into the Swiss franc and Japanese yen – long seen as safe-haven currencies – on Friday after reports said Israel had attacked Iran, pushing up oil prices and causing caution across global markets.

Markets initially reacted sharply to the news, which triggered a sell-off in risk assets, caused oil and gold prices to climb, and ignited a rally in U.S. Treasuries and safe-haven currencies.

The Swiss franc, valued at times of stress for its stability, climbed more than 1% as the first reports came in to hit 0.9011 per dollar, its highest in two weeks.

It then cut its gains, and was up nearly 0.5% at 0.9079 to the dollar as markets retraced some of their initial reaction after a relatively subdued response from Iran.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the currency against six major rivals, also advanced but then gave up its gains to stand 0.1% down at 106.07.

My perception is the media in Iran have essentially downplayed the whole thing, said Francesco Pesole, currency strategist at ING. That could be an indication they do not want to escalate further.

He added: It is speculating here because the news that we are getting is not really clear, obviously the situation will remain volatile.

The yen was nearly 0.2% higher at 154.39 per dollar, after having rallied over 0.6% in reaction to reports of the attack.

It is pretty obvious the market is nervous, said Moh Siong Sim, a currency strategist at Bank of Singapore. We are still in a situation where we know something has happened. But we need to understand the degree of retaliation.

Currencies jumped throughout the European morning session, with the euro initially dropping but last up 0.1% at $1.06505. The British pound was flat at $1.2441.

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