CEE MARKETS-Currencies steady ahead of expected Fed rate cut
By 0940 GMT Bucharest's blue chip index .BETI was down 0.3%. Warsaw's main index .WIG20 fell 0.2%, while Budapest .BUX and Prague .PX shares were up 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.
Currencies were flat against the euro as investors braced for an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve and clues on its policy outlook.
Monetary policy loosening by the world's largest central banks has so far eased pressure to act on policymakers in central Europe, where consumption-driven economic growth has mostly held up in the face of a euro zone slowdown and concerns over Britain's now further delayed exit from the European Union.
"In general, the dovish global central bank backdrop increases the degrees of freedom for CEE central banks to keep rates low for longer," Raiffeisen Bank said in a research note.
Policymakers in the region have kept rates on hold, but in the Czech Republic some board members have spoken in favour of hikes.
Analysts said the crown EURCZK= will be without any strong direction until next week's central bank meeting where policymakers are likely to debate potential rate hikes. In September the board voted 5-2 for stable rates, with two votes for a hike.
In Romania, the leu was unfazed by the rejection on Tuesday of finance ministry nominee Florin Citu by parliament's joint budget and finance committees, whose decision is not binding.
Citu's centrist National Liberal Party aims to win a parliamentary vote of confidence on Nov. 4, to replace the outgoing Social Democrat government, ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence earlier this month.
The finance ministry is expected to release domestic debt issuance plans for November, as well as budget data for September. The widening of the country's budget and current account deficits have weighed on assets.
"We expect intensifying pressure in terms of sovereign financing costs in the short-run due to the weakening stance of the public finance," BT Capital Partners said in a research note.
AT 1100 CET
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(Reporting by Luiza Ilie in Bucharest, Alan Charlish in Warsaw and Jason Hovet in Prague; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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