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Weekly CZK Report: Koruna Did not Avoid Correction

Weekly CZK Report: Koruna Did not Avoid Correction

16.5.2011 9:35
Autor: Tomáš Vlk, Patria Finance

The euro has lost more ground to the dollar. The price action was probably driven by another fall in commodity prices, indicating a declining demand for risk. Moreover, the risk of the Greek default is still there. Some comments of the Eurozone representatives have recently suggested another potential aid package for Greece, but nothing has been approved yet. Later on, the euro was supported by very good German and French GDP figures and pared its previous losses.

The CE currencies got under pressure of the decreasing risk appetite. The zloty was supported by the central bank´s decision to lift interest rates sooner than expected. It was the main reason why the zloty´s weekly performance is positive, in contrast to its regional peers.

Czech GDP came out a touch above estimates. Exports and fixed investment were the likely drivers in the 1Q. The figures were good and we do not consider them to be a reason for the koruna weakness. But it is quite surprising to see the Czech economy and the region lagging significantly behind Germany. However, the boost may come a bit later as the link between the industries remains strong.

Czech consumer prices showed a slightly lower growth than expected. Inflation remains quite low. Minutes from its last monetary meeting confirmed that the CNB does not see any inflationary pressures coming from the local economy. The domestic demand remains weak and the external pressure on prices is muted by the stronger currency rate. The prevailing opinion is that the risks for inflation are balanced and that the interest rates may still stay flat. Some of the CNB board members favor higher rates and stress pro-inflationary risks but their voice is still not strong enough.

The CNB does not hurry with tightening its policy. On the other hand, Polish rates went up earlier and also the ECB is expected to continue with tightening. This may be negative for the koruna. The forint might be in a similar position because of a dovish comment by the MNB governor and due to relatively higher vulnerability by the debt issue.

Next (2282 GBp, 0,04%) week, Czech PPI and current account data will be released. However, they can hardly change the view on monetary policy and will likely be neutral for the market. The calendar also contains some important soft indicators from the US and Germany, such as the ZEW economic survey and the NY Fed and Philly Fed indices.

For the CE currencies, it will be important whether the euro and commodities extend their fall or rebound. There are multiple factors that may influence it. The commodities react to growth and monetary policy outlook, the euro will, moreover, watch the periphery. The solution for Greece remains a key issue. It will probably not influence the CE currencies directly, although the forint might feel some pressure. But, it will have impact on the overall approach to riskier assets, which usually shows the region direction.

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