While the Czech crown was only little changed yesterday, Czech bonds continued to perform well as the Czech FinMin easily sold its benchmark with maturity in 2024. Compared to January's auction of the same instrument demand was much stronger. After a strong rally, the Czech bond market is ready for some profit taking, which could be triggered by today's release of the May inflation. Due to higher food prices, the headline CPI jumped 0.5% m/m so the year-on-year inflation is back on the CNB target (2.0%). This might bring rate hike bets back on the table.
The minutes of the Hungarian central bank meeting showed yesterday that the policymakers voted unanimously to keep rates on hold at the meeting on the 16th of May. According to the council’s view, risks to inflation remained both on the upside and the downside. In its statement, the bank dropped the sentence suggesting unchanged rates for a sustained period, triggering some speculation that the bank’s doves maypave the way of an upcoming rate cut. This morning, governor Simor said 2011growth may be a bit less than 3%. This morning, the final figure of euro zone Q1 GDP showed an upward revision from 2.4% Y/Y to 2.5% Y/Y.
Yesterday, the Hungarian forint continued to hover in a right range around the 265 EUR/HUF level.
According to general expectations, the National Bank of Poland raised interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday. Hence, Polish interest rates grew already for the fourth time this year. In a response, the zloty erased a part of losses posted earlier on the day and closed only slightly weaker. Regarding the hike, the official statement said that “in the opinion of the Council, the elevated level of current inflation and inflation expectations, as well as the risk of rising wage pressure amidst a considerable growth in employment, justify increasing the NBP interest rates at the present meeting”. At the press conference, the NBP president Belka said that the NBP was planning to wait with further monetary tightening but that they did not rule out further adjustments in the case that the prospects of inflation returning back to the target deteriorated. On the perspectives of Polish economy, Belka added he did not expect any rapid slowdown of the economy due to the higher borrowing costs. Belka also appreciated the higher stability of the zloty, which was supported by selling EUR from EU funds. In our opinion, uncertainty related to the balance of payments prevents the zloty from further appreciation.