Forint firms further

Competition

The forint was trading at 299.08 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, up from 301.04 late Friday and 300.95 late Sunday. At 300.99 to the euro early Monday, the forint moved between 297.82, a five-day high, and 301.80, after a more than two-week low at 302.64 Friday intraday, following a new 15-month high at 295.28 last Tuesday intraday.

Over last week, it fell 1.31% versus the euro after a gain of 0.66% over the previous week.

As the euro fell back in dollar terms, improved emerging market mood after surprise Chinese monetary stimulus on Sunday -- the Chinese central bank lowered banksʼ reserve requirement -- helped the Hungarian currency to continue recuperating from last weekʼs deep losses against the common currency, but gains remained limited.

The upside was cupped by expectations that Hungaryʼs central bank was likely to cut its main monetary policy rate to a fresh record low on Tuesday.

But following strong Polish economic data out Monday, analysts said the pace of further policy rate cuts in Hungary could be slower than previously thought, and shifting expectations kept the forint near the 300 level to the euro.

The forint has strengthened recently against the euro to a point where it was threatening Hungaryʼs export competitiveness, so the weakening that started last week in has been welcomed, analysts said. 

The forint traded at 277.85 to the dollar, up from 278.56 late Friday and 278.44 late Sunday. On Monday, it moved between 277.32 and 280.41, after an eight-day high at 277.06 Friday intraday, and a nearly four-week low at 283.51 last Wednesday intraday.

It was quoted at 291.37 to the Swiss franc, up from 292.72 late Friday and 292.59 late Sunday. Its range on Monday was 289.55, a four-day high, to 294.49, a more than two-month low. 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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