Forint eases on interbank market

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The forint was trading at 310.93 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, slightly up from 311.02 late Wednesday. At 311.03 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 310.32 and 312.31. It reached a nearly seven-week high at 306.44 on Monday intraday, after hitting an all-time low at 327.62 on January 15.

It is 0.40% weaker compared to last Friday, after rising almost 3% the previous week. It is up 1.84% from the end of last year, after it lost 6.12% last year, and 1.95% in 2013.

 Against major currencies, the Hungarian forint was hit by a surprise deep rate cut by Russia's central bank in the morning which sent Hungarian sovereign yields rising on the secondary market for the day.

Dealers said technical factors and late-month positioning also worked against the forint.

It pared losses by late afternoon amid expectations of longer-term benefits from the ECB's asset buying programme and from the outlook of more funds escaping Russia, and on dissipating chances of local interest rate cuts after the Fed signaled late Wednesday that US rate rises were still likely this year. Analysts are unanimous that Poland's central bank will keep interest rates on hold next week, easing peer pressure on Hungary.

The forint traded at 275.27 to the dollar, down from 274.75 late Thursday. On Friday, it moved between 273.45 and 276.32. Its latest all-time low against the dollar was 280.33 on January 15.

It was quoted at 299.20 to the Swiss franc, down from 297.42 late Thursday. Its range on Friday was 295.34, a more than two-week high, to 299.40. It plunged to an all-time low at 378.49 on January 15, and has never been under 300 since then until Thursday.

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