Forint up on Ukraine cease-fire news

Analysis

The forint was trading at 306.05 to the euro late Thursday on the interbank forex market, up from 309.26 late Wednesday. At 309.06 to the euro early Thursday, the forint moved between 305.92, a four-day high, and 309.73. It reached a near three-month high at 303.76 last Friday.

Along with Central European peers, the Hungarian currency firmed after news came out that Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement on a cease fire and a new IMF funding could ease Ukraine's crisis.

"Whilst Ukraine and Greece are set to continue to exert ongoing pressure on Central European local debt markets, we believe that ... correction will open room for another round of gains," Raiffeisen said in a note a Thursday.

The forint climbed on the improvement of the external political landscape while forecasters revisited the quasi-certainty of a series of rate cuts by regional central banks from March, but emphasised that the ECB's quantitative easing would make room for such moves.

An auction on Thursday of one-year Hungarian Treasury-bills and three-year floating-rate bonds with mixed results, however, signaled on-going worries in the background.

The forint traded at 268.77 to the dollar, up from 272.87 late Wednesday. On Thursday, it moved between 268.50, a six-day high, and 273.71. It reached a one-month high at 265.81 last Thursday.

It was quoted at 289.80 to the Swiss franc, up from 293.74 late Wednesday. Its range on Thursday was 288.82, a six-day high, to 294.83. Last Friday, at 287.52, it reached the highest 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.

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