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Forint still drifts in thin trade

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The forint was trading at 311.84 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, slightly up from final quotes at 312.03 on Thursday.

At 312.10 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 311.63 and 312.54, after an almost two-week low at 312.93 late Thursday, and an almost one-month high at 308.43 last week Friday intraday.

The forint is down 0.37% versus the euro from final quotes last Friday, after a gain of 0.56% over the week before. It is up 1.55% from the end of last year, after it lost 6.12% last year, and 1.95% in 2013.

The Hungarian currency continued its drift seen in the last few days, moving around the euro in tight range, and falling about as much against the dollar as the euro did.

There is little serious movement expected in the Hungarian currencyʼs course in euro until investors see the combined impact of the decisions of the US Fed, the ECB and the Hungarian central bank, all due in the first half of next month, traders said on Friday.

In the previous two days, several officials of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said the bank was preparing new unconventional easing measures in a process they termed "fine-tuning" in view of worsening economic growth prospects and stubbornly low inflation, although one of them added the central bank had no specific intention to weaken the forint.

However, the forint continued to gain versus the Swiss franc that sank to a five-year low against the dollar on Friday on speculation the Swiss National Bank would be forced to follow suit if the ECB cuts its deposit rates deeper into negative territory next week.

The forint traded at 294.42 to the dollar, down from final quotes at 294.23 on Thursday. On Friday, it moved between 293.38 and 295.65, a third more than fifteen-year low this month, after a ten-day high at 287.97 reached last week Thursday.

It was quoted at 285.05 to the Swiss franc, up from 287.42 late Thursday. Its range on Friday was 285.55, a one-week high, to 287.55, after a one-week low at 288.88 Wednesday intraday. Since its crash to an all-time low at 378.49 to the franc on January 15 when the Swiss central bank scrapped its cap of 1.20 to the euro, it reached the highest at 281.07 on February 26.

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