Forint mixed on interbank market

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The forint was trading at 311.20 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, down from 310.47 late Friday and 310.80 late Sunday. At 310.81 to the euro early Monday, the forint moved between 310.02 and 311.63. Over last weak it lost 0.40% against the euro after rising almost 3% the previous week.

A strengthening euro against the dollar in the wake of dismal US household consumption data left the Hungarian currency somewhat behind, but the same reemerging expectations for a US rate-hike delay helped the forint, too, against the dollar.

An unconfirmed news report out Sunday that the Swiss central bank might revisit a kind of exchange-rate cap to the euro, this time between 1.05 to 1.10 to the common currency, benefited the forint as well.

On the local front, early morning strong manufacturing PMI data from January were supposed to dampen expectations of further monetary easing by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), just to be cross-guessed later by the governor of the MNB and a rate setter of the central bank who both hinted at options of a rate cut or an extension of liquidity provision through the MNB's Funding for Growth Scheme if the March Inflation Report of the bank would "warrant it".

The forint traded at 274.64 to the dollar, up from 275.03 late Friday and 274.88 late Sunday. On Monday, it moved between 273.64 and 275.42.

It was quoted at 297.00 to the Swiss franc, up from 298.69 late Friday and 298.31 late Sunday. Its range on Monday was 293.60, the highest since the crash on January 15 when the Swiss central bank scrapped its previous cap of 1.20 to the euro, to 298.67. It plunged to an all-time low at 378.49 to the franc on January 15.

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