Forint slide stops as dollar's growth slows

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The forint was trading at 309.39 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, slightly up from 309.52 late Thursday. At 309.91 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 308.72 and 310.27. The forint is 0.46% weaker in euro terms than a week ago, after it gained 0.12% over last week.

It is down 3.92% year-to-date after falling 1.95% last year against the euro.

Pressure on the Hungarian currency eased by Friday evening after US payroll growth figures came in strong but short of forecasts with tepid wage data, somewhat distancing the threat of a US rate hike next year, causing the dollar to retreat in euro terms after strong gains earlier in the week.

Investors also digested messages from regional central banks in Central Europe this week that were less dovish than some had expected.

However, fears Russia may face a currency crisis weigh on regional assets.

In Hungary on Friday, a record monthly foreign trade surplus, further strengthening the current account, and a drop of foreign currency reserves probably caused by a programme of the central bank to help commercial lenders meet their obligations under retail borrowers' relief legislation broadly neutralised each other.

The forint traded at 249.13 to the dollar, up from 250.12 late Thursday. On Friday, it moved between 248.44 and 250.70, a third nearly three-year low in as many days. It was quoted at 257.10 to the Swiss franc, a hair down from 257.00 late Thursday. Its range on Friday was 256.50 to 256.67.

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