Swiss franc declines on data releases, gold slump
The Swiss franc depreciated against the US dollar by 0.4% on October 1, 2015, as August retail sales released below expectations and manufacturing activity experienced contraction in September. Among its European peers, the Swiss franc fell by 0.43% and 0.6% against the pound sterling and the euro, respectively.
As hawkish bets increased on a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, gold prices suffered a fall. The Swiss franc, which has a high correlation with global gold prices, came under further pressure from the slump in the bullion. Gold futures continued to fall for the fourth consecutive session on October 1, 2015.
Manufacturing activity, retail sales disappoint
The manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for the month of September released at 49.5 against an expectation of 51.8 and the previous month’s reading of 52.2. A reading below 50 in the PMI suggests a contraction in manufacturing activity. Retail sales for the month of August fell by 0.3% on an annual basis against an increase of 0.1% in July.
Sales of food items, beverages, and tobacco saw a fall while non-food items experienced a rise. On a month-over-month basis, retail sales saw a growth of 0.5% in August versus a drop of 0.6% in July.