Less than a month after it announced negative interest rates, the Swiss National Bank shocked global markets by announcing it will scuttle the franc’s euro peg and the impact is being felt across the exchange traded funds landscape Thursday.
SNB’s decision to scrap the franc’s euro peg sent the Swiss currency surging, so much so that the CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (NYSEArca: FXF) is easily Thursday’s top performing non-leveraged ETF with a gain of over 12% on volume that has already reached nearly 20 times the trailing three-month daily average.
Putting FXF’s move into context, the ETF entered Thursday down 2.5% since the start of the year and Thursday’s surge by the franc has more than wiped out FXF’s 10.3% two-year loss. Additionally, it is extremely rare that a currency ETF, particularly of the non-leveraged variety, to be a day’s leading on a percentage basis. FXF’s 12%-plus gain today is more than double that of the day’s second-best ETF, the Sprott Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SGDM).
The dollar is down 11.4% against the franc at 0.9028 while EUR/CHF is lower by 13.1% at 1.0430.
SNB’s decision sent Swiss stocks plunging during the European session with the benchmark Swiss Market Index (SMI) sliding 8.6%.
At one point, $100 billion had been wiped off the value of Swiss blue chips, putting the normally docile market on pace for its one-day slide in 25 years, according to Reuters.
“The SNB’s shock decision to discontinue the cap against the euro that it introduced on Sept. 6, 2011 to fight recession and deflation pressures sent the Swiss franc soaring by almost 30 percent,” Reuters reported.