Watches prop up Swiss exports as strong franc weighs

today Mar 22, 2012
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ZURICH - Swiss exports fell across most sectors in February, weighed down by the country's strong franc, with only a sharp rise in sales of watches staving off an overall decline as demand for the country's luxury goods stayed buoyant.

The strong franc, capped by the Swiss National Bank since last September at 1.20 per euro, has left exporters needing to trim margins or raise prices to remain competitive.

But buoyant Asian demand for pricey timepieces has helped that sector shrug off the franc effect, and watch exports soared 19.7 percent last month.

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