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Weak forint steadies ahead of expected interest rate cut



<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><head><title>CEE MARKETS-Weak forint steadies ahead of expected interest rate cut</title></head><body>

WARSAW, June 18 (Reuters) -The forint held steady on Tuesday away from a three-month low it hit last week, ahead of the Hungarian central bank's meeting that is widely expected to result in a continued rate-cut drive.

The National Bank of Hungary (NBH), which began easing its base interest rate in October, is expected to trim a further 25 basis points off the current 7.25% on Tuesday, according to a slim majority of respondents in Reuters poll, while the rest forecast a 50 basis point cut.

By 0846 GMT the Hungarian forint EURHUF= was flat at 396 per euro, holding on to Monday's gains which saw it pulling away from its weakest level since mid March at the end of last week.

"Today the focus is on the NBH interest rate decision, until then it (EURHUF) may remain on the sidelines," MBH Bank said in a note.

"In our view, with the forint weakening again more strongly in recent days and the Fed's expected rate cut postponed, the MNB will be cautious and will only cut rates by 25bps."

Monday's session gave some respite to the region's currencies, after the strengthening of the dollar this month, supported last week by a more hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve and the fallout of European Parliament elections that pressured riskier assets, including Central European currencies.

The Polish zloty EURPLN= slipped 0.1% against the euro to 4.3480, also largely keeping the previous day's gains after hitting its weakest level since late January on Friday.

"Yesterday's trading on the local FX suggests that the domestic currency (zloty) should now be less sensitive to negative external signals," Poland's state-owned development bank BGK wrote in a note.

"Today, we expect a relatively calm session in the range of PLN 4.34-4.36 per euro."

The Czech crown traded 0.1% lower at 24.7450, remaining anchored around stronger levels, with market focus turned toward the Czech central bank rate meeting next week at which policymakers are expected to slow rate cuts.

Czech central bank Vice-Governor Eva Zamrazilova said in a Reuters interview on Monday that she would decide between a 25 bps and 50 bps interest rate cut, after assessing the effects of a firmer crown versus still strong growth in services prices.

CSOB said the crown was staying stuck around the 24.70 per euro level.

"Producer price data released (on Monday) did not surprise and generally confirmed the disinflationary tendencies in the domestic economy," CSOB said.

"This is good news for the central bank towards further easing of monetary policy... Uncertainty about the June vote is high, but we still cautiously lean toward a 25 bp rate cut."


CEE MARKETS

SNAPSHOT

AT 1046 CET





CURRENCIES






Latest

Previous

Daily

Change



bid

close

change

in 2024

Czech crown

EURCZK=

24.7450

24.7300

-0.06%

-0.18%

Hungary forint

EURHUF=

396.0000

396.0500

+0.01%

-3.24%

Polish zloty

EURPLN=

4.3480

4.3535

+0.13%

-0.08%

Romanian leu

EURRON=

4.9771

4.9770

-0.00%

-0.06%







Note: daily change

calculated from



1800 CET










Latest

Previous

Daily

Change




close

change

in 2024

Prague

.PX

1527.10

1521.8400

+0.35%

+8.00%

Budapest

.BUX

69851.62

69711.91

+0.20%

+15.23%

Warsaw

.WIG20

2479.20

2458.79

+0.83%

+5.81%

Bucharest

.BETI

17940.30

17879.99

+0.34%

+16.71%











Spread

Daily





vs Bund

change in

Czech Republic





spread

2-year

CZ2YT=RR

4.1470

0.0190

+130bps

-2bps

5-year

CZ5YT=RR

4.1320

-0.0010

+168bps

-3bps

10-year

CZ10YT=RR

4.2190

0.0070

+179bps

-1bps

Poland






2-year

PL2YT=RR

5.2330

-0.0110

+239bps

-5bps

5-year

PL5YT=RR

5.6230

-0.0100

+317bps

-4bps

10-year

PL10YT=RR

5.7770

-0.0030

+334bps

-2bps

Note: FRA quotes

are for ask prices





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







Reporting by Karol Badohal in Warsaw and Boldizsar Gyori in Budapest; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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