Forint further up on government debt talk


The forint was trading at 309.81 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, slightly up from 310.08 late Thursday. At 310.03 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 308.77, a new more than two-month high, and 310.15. It is up 0.91% in euro terms on the week after falling 0.31% over the previous week. It is down 4.04% year-to-date, after easing 1.95% last year.

The Hungarian forint firmed on the economy minister's comments that the country needs a "favourable" exchange rate for the year-end to reduce its public debt. This confirmed analysts' predictions in past weeks.

Some analysts estimate that forint levels around 307 to the euro would be enough to help cut the debt, 40% of which is in foreign currencies, while the government also has other means to influence the debt ratio, including cutting debt sales or changing the amount of money in its cash account.

The economy minister also announced the start next week of tendering for new EU funds under the 2014-2020 EU budget period which should underpin forint demand later.

Traders said the European Central Bank's (ECB) liquidity infusions may prop up, too, demand for emerging assets in Europe, despite the ECB easing being smaller than expected.

However, the forint's rise stalled in the afternoon after the latest, September, US unemployment figure, at more than six-year low, pushed the dollar and US treasury yields up, and the euro down.

The forint traded at 247.50 to the dollar, down from 244.76 late Thursday. On Friday, it moved between 244.55 and 248.10, a second 28-month low this week low.

It was quoted at 256.07 to the Swiss franc, up from 256.51 late Thursday. Its range on Friday was 255.44, a more than two-month high, to 256.62.


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