Forint shrugs off Greece impact

MNB

The forint was trading at 306.88 to the euro late Thursday on the interbank forex market, up from 308.97 late Wednesday.  At 308.77 to the euro early Thursday, the forint moved between 306.75, a ten-day high, and 309.35.

The Hungarian currency quickly brushed aside morning blues after the ECB cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds as collateral for funding, and the European Commission projected Hungary's GDP growth to slow more than seen in its previous forecast.

Later in the day the forint benefited from a Europe-wide escape from stocks to more or less reliable public debt, while tumbling Greek, Ukrainian and some Russian debt prices also enhanced the shine of Hungarian sovereigns at a regular auction on Thursday.

The quasi certainty built up this week that the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) will restart easing in March did not hurt as investors reckon that a parallel quantitative easing of ECB might push first rate yields down even more, so Hungarian assets ought to preserve their yield premium.

However, as a result of the anticipated rate-cut, the forint could move down later, to 315 to the euro by the end of June, Commerzbank forecast in a note on Thursday.

The forint traded at 268.59 to the dollar, up from 272.30 late Wednesday. On Thursday, it moved between 268.19 and 273.00. It reached a three-week high at 267.30 on Tuesday,

It was quoted at 290.37 to the Swiss franc, up from 294.10 late Wednesday. Its range on Thursday was 289.47, the highest since the crash on January 15 when the Swiss central bank scrapped its cap of 1.20 to the euro, to 295.24. It plunged to an all-time low at 378.49 to the franc on January 15.

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