29 January 2004, 09:40  Swiss franc ticks lower, market eyes SNB speech

ZURICH, Jan 29 - The Swiss franc eased against the greenback on Thursday after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday but hinted it may be closer to considering a rate increase. The dollar edged higher to 1.2574/79 francs from levels around 1.2465 francs in late European trade on Wednesday. The euro lost some ground against the franc and changed hands at 1.5650/52, from around 1.5695 on Wednesday. Traders said they would eye remarks by Swiss National Bank Chairman Jean-Pierre Roth later on Thursday, who is expected to repeat the central bank is in no rush to raise rates from current record lows as it waits for a tentative recovery to take root. He said last week that the mild inflation outlook over the next two years gave the bank plenty of time before it had to tighten policy to secure price stability.//

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