Forint firms on interbank market

Analysis

The forint was trading at 299.09 to the euro late Monday on the interbank forex market, up from 300.21 late Friday and 300.24 late Sunday. Also at 300.24 to the euro early Monday, the forint moved between 298.91, a four-day high, and 300.29. It reached a 13-month high at 297.25 last Wednesday intraday. It ended last week 0.73% up after a gain of 0.76% over the previous week.

The Hungarian currency gathered more strength on strong current account and diminishing fiscal deficit outlook which also fuel expectations for more upgrades from credit rating agencies.

ECBʼs QE and waiting for tenders for new EU funds to open soon also underpin the course, while hopes for the Fedʼs postponing bias after a speech of its chair over the week-end relaxed fears that expected further rate cuts by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) could clip the forintʼs new-grown wings.

The Fed is giving "serious consideration" to beginning to reduce its accommodative monetary policy and a rate hike may be warranted later this year, although a downturn in core inflation or wage growth could force it to hold off, Janet Yellen said on Friday.

Later in the day, fresh data on the first personal spending growth within three months in the US in February confused the US rate outlook, and pushed to forint back down versus the dollar, although the spending growth in the US was much less than expected and fell adjusted even for a tepid inflation, while personal income growth and core consumer items inflation stagnated.

The forint traded at 276.21 to the dollar, slightly down from 275.71 late Friday and 275.93 late Sunday. On Monday, it moved between 275.45 and 277.29. It hit a one-month high at 270.52 last Thursday intraday.

It was quoted at 285.25 to the Swiss franc, up from 287.58 late Friday and 286.89 late Sunday. Its range on Monday was 285.25 to 287.39, after an almost three-week high at 282.68 last Thursday 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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