Forint mixed on interbank market


The forint was trading at 296.35 to the euro late Friday on the interbank forex market, up from 298.49 late Thursday. At 298.44 to the euro early Friday, the forint moved between 296.26 and 298.78 after a 15-month high at 295.82 Wednesday intraday. It is up 0.90% versus the euro from final quotes last Friday after a gain of 0.39% over the previous week. It is up 6.84% from the end of last year, after it lost 6.12% last year, and 1.95% in 2013.

Swings flattened by late afternoon, and the Hungarian currency adjusted up, but the pattern of the day showed the forint losing some of its recent lustre.

Although it eked out a gain against the euro which keeps re-weakening fast versus the dollar after the Wednesday evening publication of the Fedʼs latest minutes dented market hopes for a rate-hike postponement in the US, rising Hungarian government bond yields intraday, tracking recent rises in closely watched US Treasury yields, showed that expectations for the forint bend to the downside.

With dollar pressure weighing again on the euro and, with it, on the forint, considerations for risk premium point to higher Hungarian yields and weaker forint in the coming months, analysts say.

The forintʼs retreat from a 15-month high on Wednesday when it could not strengthen under 295 to the euro, also showed investors were reluctant to test the tolerance of the National Bank of Hungaryʼs (MNB) for a too strong forint, while expectations for further, albeit gradual and modest, MNB rate cuts are penciled in.

The forint traded at 279.23 to the dollar, up from 280.02 late Thursday. On Friday, it moved between 278.65 and 281.61, a nearly two-week low, after a more than one-month high at 270.07 Monday intraday.

It was quoted at 284.98 to the Swiss franc, up from 286.43 late Thursday. Its range on Friday was 284.71 to 287.61, a one-week low after a two-week high at 283.45 Wednesday 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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