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Forint eases on interbank market

Analysis

The forint was trading at 304.07 to the euro late Tuesday on the interbank forex market, down from 303.36 late Monday. At 303.42 to the euro early Tuesday, the forint moved between 303.16 and 304.55. Central European currencies eased on Tuesday extending the past two weeksʼ wobbly trend as investors awaited the outcome of the Fedʼs policy meeting on Wednesday.

But pressure from the dollar remained light after a row of dismal US data lately dented odds for a signal by the Fed to start rate hikes in June that could make Central European assets relatively less attractive.

Nevertheless at a regular auction on Tuesday the government sold less three-month T-bills than planned on slight undersubscription reflecting market nervousness, with yields unchanged from the previous auction, while yields increased to the secondary market benchmark.

The ECBʼs asset purchases, however, helped underpin the forint as well as fresh data from the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on rising current account surplus in January did, although the countryʼs external financing capacity – the combined surplus of the current and capital accounts – fell from December on fewer net transfers from the EU.

The forint traded at 287.21 to the dollar, a hair down from 287.14 late Monday. On Tuesday, it moved between 285.76 and 287.60 after falling into a new 13-year trough at 292.39 Friday intraday.

It was quoted at 285.60 to the Swiss franc, down from 284.80 late Monday. Its range on Tuesday was 284.34 to 286.36 after a nearly four-week low at 290.25 Sunday 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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