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FOREX-Dollar up vs franc as SNB eyed but slips vs euro, yen on data

* SNB speculation, report of new exchange rate band hurt franc

* Dollar falls against euro, yen on U.S. economic data (Recasts throughout; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar hit a more than two-week high against the Swiss franc on Monday on signs that the Swiss National Bank has intervened to weaken the franc, but moved lower against the euro and yen on disappointing U.S. economic data.

The euro also hit a more than two-week high against the franc in the wake of a report from a Swiss newspaper on Sunday stating that the SNB was informally aiming for a rate of 1.05-1.10 francs per euro, citing sources close to the bank.

Data on Monday showed bank deposits with the SNB rose in the week ended Jan. 30, fueling speculation that the Swiss central bank has been active in keeping a lid on the franc.

The speculation that the SNB has intervened in the market comes after it shocked markets on Jan. 15 by removing its cap of 1.20 francs per euro, a move which initially sent the Swiss franc skyrocketing against both the euro and the dollar.

“The SNB in general feels like the Swiss strength is extremely overdone, and based upon that view, it looks like they’re trying to move the market to a level they believe is more correct,” said Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York.

The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen on Monday, after data showed U.S. national factory activity for January as well as consumer and construction spending for December fell short of expectations. The reports came on the back of Friday’s weaker-than-expected headline U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product reading.

“Given how overstretched the dollar has become, softer reports are weighing on the currency,” said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York. She said the recent data suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve may wait longer before raising rates from rock-bottom levels, driving profit-taking in the dollar’s recent gains.

The dollar last traded 0.87 percent higher against the franc at 0.9253 franc, having pared gains from its session high of 0.9347 franc. The euro was last up 0.62 percent against the greenback at $ 1.13515.

The dollar was trading 0.24 percent lower against the safe-haven yen at 117.22 yen, but was up from a more than two-week low of 116.64 yen hit earlier in the session.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.37 percent at 94.452.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione, editing by G Crosse; additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London)

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