CEE MARKETS-Currencies up as markets eye Hungary cenbank, Fed
Band Anita Komuves
BUDAPEST, July 25 (Reuters) – Central European currencies strengthened on Monday as investors awaited interest rate decisions from the US and Hungarian central banks as well as Polish economic data due later this week.
“The forint is rising slightly ahead of tomorrow’s rate meeting, and I expect a calm day today,” said an FX trader in Budapest.
“Foreign investor sentiment on the forint has turned somewhat positive since the central bank’s aggressive rate hikes, despite the risks posed by the lack of agreement with the EU on stimulus funds.”
Rating agency Fitch confirming Hungary’s rating at “BBB” with a stable outlook on Friday evening also helped the forint, wrote Andras Horvath, senior analyst at Takarekbank.
the forint EURHUF= firmed 0.06% to 396.80 per euro ahead of Tuesday’s central bank meeting where a Reuters poll of analysts expects the base rate to rise 100 basis points to 10.75%.
The National Bank of Hungary (NBH), which became the first central bank in the European Union to start raising interest rates in June 2021, has raised its key rate by more than 900 basis points since then.
Although it rebounded from a record low of 416.90 for the euro hit earlier this month, the forint is still the worst performer in the region as it has fallen nearly 7% since the start of the year .
The Polish zloty EURPLN= was 0.37% stronger and traded at 4.7270 per euro.
“Undoubtedly, the most important event of the coming week will be the US Federal Reserve meeting,” wrote Poland’s Bank Millennium.
“For the zloty, however, the national CPI inflation data will also be important. It will be a clue as to the possible decision of the Monetary Policy Council at the September meeting.”
The US Federal Reserve was due to announce its interest rate decision on Wednesday, with investors bracing for a 75 basis point hike.
The Czech crown EURCZK= traded up 0.35% at 24.50 per euro, trailing its regional peers.
“The relief of knowing that the majority of renewed [central bank] the board’s plans to continue interventions to support the corona temporarily helped calm the market,” CSOB wrote in a client note.
The Czech National Bank is due to meet on August 4.
At 10:13 a.m. CET
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(Additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw and Jason Hovet in Prague; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
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