The Swiss National Bank (SNB) came out fighting Tuesday, announcing its intention toset a minimum exchange rate for the Swiss franc against the euro, in a move which sent European shares and the price of gold down.
The move signaled the central bank's determination to devalue the franc, which has soared against the euro in recent months as investors look for safe havens. The FTSEurofirst 300 rose Tuesday morning following the announcement, but was down again by lunchtime.
Swiss policymakers and businesses have expressed mounting concerns over how the strengthening currency will affect Switzerland's export-based economy.
Both the Bank of Japanand the People's Bank of China have taken steps to devalue their currencies recently.