CEE MARKETS-Forint firms, interbank rates jump as Hungarian central bank tightens policy

Credit: REUTERS/BERNADETT SZABO

The Hungarian forint firmed in early trade on Thursday after the central bank used what analysts labelled an "implicit rate hike" to halt the slide of central Europe's worst performing currency.

By 0856 GMT the forint had strengthened 0.36% on the day against the euro to 361.75, after setting a fresh record low of 369.54 on Wednesday.

"The HUF fell so drastically yesterday that NBH carried out an effective rate increase," Erste Group analysts said in a note.

"The EURHUF immediately reversed, albeit it remains to be seen how effective this move will be in the longer run."

Hungarian short-term Budapest interbank market rates jumped about 40 basis points after the central bank's move. The first tender for the new one-week deposit will be held on Thursday.

Other central European currencies also firmed, rebounding after a difficult session on Wednesday, when PMI data across the region fuelled worries of a deep recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Polish zloty EURPLN= firmed 0.34% against the euro to 4.5760, The Czech crown EURCZK= gained 0.66% to 27.405. The Romanian leu EURRON= was little changed at 4.8295.

Stocks were mixed, as investors continued to fret over the effects of the coronavirus on businesses ahead of U.S. jobless claims data later in the day.

"There is only one topic - the virus. When the lockdown will end and what are the probabilities of this ending in May or in April," said Kamil Stolarski, Head Of Equity Research at Santander Bank Polska.

Warsaw's WIG 20 index .WIG20 was down 0.29% and Budapest's main index .BUX was down 0.34%, while Prague's PX index .PX rose 1.15%.

In Warsaw, shoe retailer CCC SA CCP.WA fell more than 4.5% after the effects of the coronavirus pushed it to a first quarter loss and it announced plans to cut costs.

Benchmark Polish 10-year bond yields PL10YT=RR rose just under 3 basis points to 1.747%, while Czech 10-year yields CZ10YT=RR fell just under 6 basis points to 1.404%.

Poland's Finance Ministry will offer bonds worth 4.0-7.0 billion zloty ($956 million-$1.7 billion) at tender on Thursday.

The Czech Finance Ministry sold a record 87.4 billion crowns ($3.50 billion) of three bonds at auctions on Wednesday, following up on massive debt sales last week as it accelerates borrowing to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

CEE MARKETS

SNAPSHOT

AT 1057 CET

CURRENCIES

Latest

Previous

Daily

Change

bid

close

change

in 2020

Czech crown

EURCZK=

27.4050

27.5860

+0.66%

-7.20%

Hungary forint

EURHUF=

361.7500

363.0700

+0.36%

-8.46%

Polish zloty

EURPLN=

4.5760

4.5914

+0.34%

-6.98%

Romanian leu

EURRON=

4.8295

4.8268

-0.06%

-0.85%

Croatian kuna

EURHRK=

7.6283

7.6300

+0.02%

-2.40%

Serbian dinar

EURRSD=

117.4200

117.5200

+0.09%

+0.13%

Note: daily change

calculated from

1800 CET

Latest

Previous

Daily

Change

close

change

in 2020

Prague

.PX

779.57

770.6700

+1.15%

-30.12%

Budapest

.BUX

32251.07

32361.34

-0.34%

-30.01%

Warsaw

.WIG20

1478.05

1482.42

-0.29%

-31.26%

Bucharest

.BETI

7536.73

7425.44

+1.50%

-24.46%

Ljubljana

.SBITOP

721.77

727.00

-0.72%

-22.04%

Zagreb

.CRBEX

1501.36

1471.92

+2.00%

-25.58%

Belgrade

.BELEX15

641.11

658.97

-2.71%

-20.03%

Sofia

.SOFIX

417.46

417.64

-0.04%

-26.52%

Yield

Yield

Spread

Daily

(bid)

change

vs Bund

change in

Czech Republic

spread

2-year

CZ2YT=RR

1.0810

0.0570

+174bps

+6bps

5-year

CZ5YT=RR

1.2490

-0.0100

+183bps

-5bps

10-year

CZ10YT=RR

1.4040

-0.0580

+183bps

-10bps

Poland

2-year

PL2YT=RR

1.0170

-0.1450

+168bps

-14bps

5-year

PL5YT=RR

1.3720

0.0380

+196bps

+0bps

10-year

PL10YT=RR

1.7470

0.0280

+217bps

-2bps

FORWARD

3x6

6x9

9x12

3M interbank

Czech Rep

CZKFRAPRIBOR=

0.41

0.43

0.48

1.03

Hungary

HUFFRABUBOR=

0.82

0.86

0.99

0.47

Poland

PLNFRAWIBOR=

0.62

0.51

0.48

1.17

Note: FRA quotes

are for ask prices

**************************************************************

(Reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw, Gergeley Szakacs and Krisztina Than in Budapest; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

((alan.charlish@thomsonreuters.com; +48 22 653 9723;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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