Forint firms on interbank market

Analysis

The forint was trading at 303.72 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, up from 305.67 late Friday and 305.97 late Sunday. At 305.98 to the euro early Monday, the forint moved between 303.17 and 306.34. It fell 0.12% to the euro over last week after losing 0.73% over the previous week.

Weak US manufacturing and home builder sentiment figures on Monday on top of last weekʼs dismal data on US retail trade and producer prices trimmed bets that the Fed will signal a rate hike already for June on Wednesday. This helped the euro a bit out of last weekʼs doldrums to the dollar, easing the pressure on the Hungarian currency, too, while the asset buying launched by the ECB last week made investors more optimistic over Central European assets.

The market also eyes an expected sovereign rating update for Hungary on Friday from S&P, Commerzbank said, warning however that the agency may decide to postpone -- just as Moodyʼs did earlier this month -- given global currenciesʼ volatility. That wouldnʼt be forint-positive and could push the forint closer to 310 to the euro again. Hungary is two notches below investment grade with S&P.

The forint traded at 286.96 to the dollar, up from 291.25 late Friday and 291.86 late Sunday. On Monday, it moved between 285.75 and 291.86 after falling into a new 13-year trough at 292.39 Friday intraday.

It was quoted at 284.89 to the Swiss franc, up from 289.05 late Friday and 289.97 late Sunday. Its range on Monday was 284.56 to 290.21 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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