Swiss Franc Hits record High

The Swiss franc strengthened on Thursday to new highs against the U.S. dollar, Euro and the British Pound, as investors turned to the refuge currency amid weakness in other industrialized economies.

The euro slumped below the barrier of 1.24 francs in early morning trade, trading at just 1.2396 francs.

Meanwhile, the dollar also weakened to 0.9374 francs, and the pound was down to 1.4525 francs.

The strengthening Swiss currency has become a bane for exporters here.

With interest rates already at a record low, the central bank has little leeway to temper the franc's rise.

The Swiss government's advisory panel of leading economists in December heralded a slowdown in ever more costly exports over the coming year, helping to pare down Switzerland's economic growth from a 2.7 percent in 2010 to 1.5 percent in 2011.