Forint stable on interbank market

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The forint was trading at 303.69 to the euro late Thursday on the interbank forex market, slightly down from 303.20 late Wednesday. At 303.42 to the euro early Thursday, the forint moved between 302.82 and 304.39 after an almost four-week low at 309.49 Tuesday intraday.

Central European government bonds firmed on Thursday and currencies were fairly stable versus the euro after a fall of assets earlier this week when strengthening expectations for US rate hikes caused risk aversion, followed by a strong rebound on Wednesday on impact of the ECB's QE.

Hungarian government bond prices increased, after getting the biggest hit in the region early this week, with the 10-year benchmark yield dropping 24 basis points from Wednesday's fixing to 3.25 percent, to rose to 3.53% late afternoon on the secondary market, still down 5bps on the day.

US rate concern could keep regional markets on a rollercoaster with further currency weakening seen versus the dollar parallel with the euro's weakness, while the ECB's asset purchases may underpin assets, traders say.

On Thursday, however, the forint got some respite against the dollar after dismal February retail trade and inventory data from the US.

Neighbouring Ukraine got an IMF bailout which also helped stabilise mood in the region.

The forint traded at 286.00 to the dollar, up from 287.47 late Wednesday. On Thursday, it moved between 284.37 and 289.14 after a new 13-year trough at 289.61 Wednesday intraday.

It was quoted at 284.80 to the Swiss franc, a hair up from 284.84 late Wednesday. Its range on Thursday was 284.16 to 285.92 after a three-week low at 290.07 Tuesday intraday. Since its crash to an all-time low at 378.49 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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