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Forint firms on interbank market

MNB

The forint was trading at 305.16 to the euro late Thursday on the interbank forex market, up from 306.41 late Wednesday. At 306.30 to the euro early Thursday, the forint moved between 304.44 and 306.38 after a two-week low at 308.25 on Wednesday. At 301.96 last Friday intraday, it hit a nine-month high.

Rangebound around 305 to the euro since the middle of February, the Hungarian currency firmed on Thursday while the ECB announced the Monday start of its new asset buying program, and peer pressure eased on the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) for deep policy rate cuts after the Polish central bank cut interest rates the previous day by twice as much as expected but also said its rate easing was over.

Analysts say that Hungary's consumption-led recovery and the outlook of the Fed's tightening later this year also limits the scope for MNB to ease.

Another auction of longer-term Hungarian government bonds on Thursday with amounts slashed compared to the plan, but with significant yield drops compared to the auction a week ago, also supported, although yields were slightly up from secondary market benchmarks.

The forint traded at 276.61 to the dollar, almost in line with 276.57 late Wednesday. On Thursday, it moved between 275.03 and 277.80 after a nearly five-week low at 277.86 on Wednesday.

It was quoted at 284.71 to the Swiss franc, up from 287.05 late Wednesday. Its range on Thursday was 284.09 to 287.55 after a two-week low at 288.20 on Wednesday. It reached the highest at 281.07 last week Thursday 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.

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