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Switzerland’s foreign exchange reserves fell back for a second successive month in January, bucking expectations of a rise amid concerns rise about the risks of an ever-expanding balance sheet.

The Swiss National Bank’s reserves declined by SFr1.6bn in January, to SFr643.7bn.

Reserves have hit a succession of record highs since the SNB’s shock decision to scrap the franc’s upper limit against the euro two years ago, but in recent meetings the bank has noted that balance sheet expansion also comes with risks.

The franc continued to appreciate against the euro for the fifth successive month in Januarym but its 0.35 per cent rise was the weakest climb since August.

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