The Czech koruna stayed nearly unchanged and moved back to 24.40-24.50 EUR/CZK range. Central banker Kamil Janacek joined the rather hawkish comments of his colleague Rezabek. All together we now have three rather hawkish members on the board, which could lead to more uncertainty about rate decisions in the upcoming months. The key event for the Czech bond market was an auction of a 6-year benchmark government bond. The demand was as expected strong and the MinFin easily sold CZK 6bn. As a result the ASW spreads continue their decline.
Today, both the koruna and Czech fixed-income market should stay in wait and see mode ahead of the ECB press conference. Crucial is whether J.C. Trichet succeeds in disappointing those who want to hear the ECB is upper its hawkishness.
The minutes of the March 28 meeting showed that Hungary’s central bank policy makers agreed there was no immediate need for further rate rises on the basis of the baseline scenario in its latest inflation report. They voted unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged a second successive month after three 25 bps rate hikes between November and January. Yesterday, Hungary also sold $500M of bonds in a reopening of the 7.625% Mar2041 issue.
The Polish zloty extended Tuesday’s gains and edged to 3.97 EUR/PLN yesterday. Clearly, the rate hike (so far) brought the desired effect and could help the Polish central bank with curbing imported inflation.
As with the case of the Czech currency, the zloty should closely watch the press conference following the ECB’s decision on interest rates. If Mr. Trichet fails to keep uncertainty about the next monetary policy move and market rates spike, the room for a further appreciation of the zloty might be limited.