Hungarian forint slightly up, but concerns about EU funds remain
By Gergely Szakacs and Pawel Florkiewicz
WARSAW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Central European currencies strengthened slightly on Friday, although the Hungarian forint is still headed for a fall this week due to Budapest's ongoing spat with the European Commission regarding EU funds.
The forint EURHUF= , which on Thursday hovered near its lowest level in more than two weeks, rose 0.34% on Friday to 407.3 per euro.
Hungary's central bank should continuously weigh the possibility of halting interest rate rises, as it has been raising borrowing costs for more than a year and inflation could soon peak, Deputy Governor Barnabas Virag said.
Despite the slight strengthening on Friday, the forint remains clearly lower than at the beginning of the week.
"This, however, is a reaction to the recent news on the spat with the European Commission over EU funds," Erste Group said in daily note.
"On top of that, a large majority of EU lawmakers voted on Thursday to condemn impairment of democracy in Hungary under its Prime Minister Orban. Calling it an 'electoral autocracy', the step has upped the pressure on the EC to freeze funding for the country," Erste Group added.
Two officials told Reuters the European Commission was expected to recommend on Sunday the suspension of up to 70% of 22.5 billion euros worth of cohesion funds earmarked for Hungary from the EU's 2021-27 budget.
Hungary has long been locked in disputes with the EU over the rule of law, risking its funding and weighing on the forint, which is central Europe's worst-performing currency so far this year.
The Czech crown EURCZK= and Romania's leu EURRON= were stable. In Poland, the zloty (PLN) EURPLN= rose 0.28% to 4.7130 per euro while investors were awaiting a US Federal Reserve meeting next week.
"We do not expect any major emotions during today's session .... We believe that the EUR/PLN rate will continue its horizontal trend around the level of 4.72 ...," Bank Millennium said.
Stock indexes in the region fell, with Prague .PX losing 1.19% and Warsaw .WIG20 1.18%.
change in 2022 EURCZK Czech
<EURCZK 24.5080 24.4950 -0.05% +1.49% =
EURHUF Hungary <EURHUF 407.3000 408.700 +0.34% -9.31% =
4.7160 4.7270 +0.23% -2.65% =
EURRON Romanian <EURRON
4.9240 4.9240 +0.00% +0.49% =
EURHRK Croatian <EURHRK
7.5220 7.5235 +0.02% -0.06% =
EURRSD Serbian <EURRSD 117.2900 117.370 +0.07% +0.25% =
change in 2022 .PX
1231.68 1246.49 -1.19%
40510.82 40690.9 -0.44% -20.13%
<.WIG20 1521.53 1539.75 -1.18% -32.88%
.BETI Buchares .BETI 11812.69 11805.5 +0.06% -9.56%
.SBITO Ljubljan <.SBITO 1085.02 1087.93 -0.27% -13.58% P
<.CRBEX 1981.18 1991.30 -0.51% -4.72%
.BELEX Belgrade <.BELEX
835.24 848.00 -1.50% +1.76% 15
605.17 605.10 +0.01% -4.80%
change vs Bund change
5.9020 -0.1670 +434bp -22bps RR
5.0280 -0.0230 +336bp
4.6300 0.0480 +287bp
6.7410 0.0990 +518bp
6.6250 0.1000 +496bp
6.2070 0.0590 +444bp
are for ask
Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw and Gergely Szakacs in Budapest; Additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw; Editing by Bradley Perrett
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