Forint stable ahead of next week's key rate meeting
By Anita Komuves
BUDAPEST, June 18 (Reuters) - The Hungarian forint was stable on Friday after suffering heavy losses this week ahead of a key central bank meeting next Tuesday when any lower-than-expected rate hike could further pressure the currency.
A Reuters poll on Wednesday forecast a 25 basis point rise in the Hungarian base rate at Tuesday's meeting, which would make the country the first in the European Union to tighten monetary policy after the coronavirus pandemic.
The forint EURHUF= was trading at 355 per euro at the end of a week when it fell nearly 2%, underperforming its regional peers.
Most central European currencies fell in the previous two sessions as a hawkish message from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday dampened risk appetite.
The forint was also hit this week by a central banker's comments on Monday that the bank could raise rates quarterly, which would be slower than current market expectations, a trader in Budapest said.
"If the rate hike next week is lower than what markets are pricing in, that could further weaken the forint," he said.
The Czech central bank will hold its policy meeting next Wednesday.
Expectations of policy tightening boosted the forint and the Czech crown to lead gains in central Europe in the first half of 2021, although they both gave up some of those gains after the Fed said it could tighten policy sooner than expected.
The crown EURCZK= edged up 0.06% to 25.519 versus the common currency on Friday.
The Polish zloty EURPLN= was little moved.
"The zloty came out relatively unscathed from the turmoil in recent days" as it is supported by a strong economy, ING wrote.
"However, the potential for strengthening will be limited by the policy of the NBP (National Bank of Poland), which will most likely decide to raise rates at the earliest in November."
Stocks in the region were mixed, with Prague .PX and Budapest .BUX both down 0.49%. Warsaw .WIG20 gained 0.28% and Bucharest .BETI was up 0.33%.
Previous Daily Change
2021 EURCZK= Czech
<EURCZK= 25.5190 25.5350 +0.06 +2.78
% EURHUF= Hungary <EURHUF= 355.0000 355.0500 +0.01 +2.17
% EURPLN= Polish
4.5514 +0.01 +0.18
% EURRON= Romanian <EURRON=
4.9248 -0.01% -1.23%
EURHRK= Croatian <EURHRK=
7.4935 -0.01% +0.71
% EURRSD= Serbian <EURRSD= 117.4500 117.5500 +0.09 +0.10
Previous Daily Change
1167.18 1173.950 -0.58% +13.6
48482.49 48795.68 -0.64% +15.1
4% .WIG20 Warsaw
2212.77 2211.58 +0.05 +11.5
11687.90 11657.26 +0.26 +19.2
0% .SBITOP Ljubljan <.SBITOP 1146.99 1145.47 +0.13 +27.3
2% .CRBEX Zagreb
1995.16 1996.43 -0.06% +14.7
1% .BELEX1 Belgrade <.BELEX1
778.79 +0.00 +4.03 5
% .SOFIX Sofia
550.74 -0.07% +22.9
0.0000 +106b +0bps R
1.6110 -0.0490 +221b -5bps R
1.7260 -0.0630 +192b -6bps RR
0.3250 -0.0170 +100b -2bps R
1.2740 -0.0420 +187b -4bps R
1.7670 -0.0220 +196b -1bps RR
are for ask prices
Additional reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw and Jason Hovet in Prague Editing by Gareth Jones
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