CEE MARKETS-Currencies edge lower as lockdown measures weigh on economies
By Anita Komuves
BUDAPEST, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Most Central European currencies edged lower on Tuesday as markets eyed government reactions to rising coronavirus infections and waited to see whether the European Central Bank would announce more easing measures later this week.
Governments in central Europe are trying to avoid the harshest lockdown measures and want to keep industry running to protect their economies, which suffered during the first wave of coronavirus in the spring.
"Investors are waiting to see how badly the second wave will hit the region," a Budapest-based FX trader said. "Even with looser lockdown measures than in the spring, economies will be affected as Christmas fairs are being cancelled and factories could shut down for a bit longer than usual."
The Hungarian forint EURHUF= held stable, trading at 365.110 versus the euro.
The Czech crown EURCZK= slid 0.14% to 27.358 per euro, weakening toward recent lows hit earlier this month after the government ordered a 9 p.m. curfew and limited retail sales on Sundays.
"If the lockdown was to be intensified again soon, EUR-CZK might return to the highs seen in spring," Commerzbank wrote.
The Czech National Bank will not "sit idle" if the crown depreciated too much, although that is not expected, Governor Jiri Rusnok said on Tuesday.
The Polish zloty EURPLN= eased 0.28% and was trading at 4.5880 versus the euro. The country introduced new restrictions last week, closing bars and restaurants, to stop the rapid spread of new coronavirus cases.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that the government plans to use 1.8 billion to 2 billion zlotys ($980.82 million) to support businesses forced to close.
Stock markets in the region recovered some of their losses on Tuesday after weakening in the global risk-off mood the day before, but sentiment remained fragile.
Warsaw's equities .WIG20 led gains, rising 0.67% by 0939 GMT. Budapest's stocks .BUX edged up 0.05% and Prague's blue- chip index .PX strengthened 0.32%. Bucharest .BETI slid 0.07%.
AT 1039 CET
Note: daily change
Note: FRA quotes
are for ask prices
($1 = 3.8743 zlotys)
(Additional reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague, editing by Larry King)
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