PRAGUE, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Central European currencies fell into a holding pattern just off recent lows on Monday while stocks eased, as the surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe blurred economic outlooks.
Czech consumer confidence fell the second most in October, according to a regular statistics office survey, although the crown EURCZK= took the data somewhat in stride, with markets keeping an eye out for preliminary third-quarter growth data due on Friday.
The crown was down less than 0.1% at 27.265 per euro by 1021 GMT, fluctuating away from a near five-month low hit earlier in October. One dealer said investors were also waiting for clarity from the U.S. presidential election.
"Local data is not good but the long (euro) position is already a crowded trade so that's why it has calmed down a bit," the dealer said.
Record daily tallies of new coronavirus infections around Europe and also in the United States have fuelled investor concern. Stock markets fell with global peers on Monday, with Warsaw .WIG20 down 0.7% and Prague .PX off 0.3%.
The Czech infection rate over a two-week period is currently the highest in Europe on a per capita basis while central European neighbours have also seen rising infection levels. New restrictions will impact fourth-quarter economic activity.
In Poland, the zloty EURPLN= led currency losses, ticking down 0.15% to 4.5825 to the euro.
The Hungarian forint EURHUF= has approached lows last touched in early April at the height of the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It traded up marginally at 365.30 on Monday morning.
"We cannot see what could stop the euro versus forint exchange rate in the short term," Erste Bank said. "There has not been a significant tightening by the central bank, and the resistance level is around 370."
Hungary's central bank kept the interest rate on its one-week deposit facility unchanged at 0.75% on Thursday, two days after it kept benchmark interest rates on hold at a regular policy meeting.
AT 1121 CET
Note: daily change
Note: FRA quotes are for ask prices
(Reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague and Anita Komuves in Budapest)
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