The koruna has nearly erased the May losses and approached the 24.00 mark again. The price action came along with the region that showed a good performance. Moreover, the Czech currency was boosted by local macro data.
The first set of data released at the beginning of the week was not very promising as growth of industrial production was lower than expected and also foreign trade posted a smaller surplus compared with estimates. However, the koruna was uninspired by these figures.
Later on, a revision of the Czech GDP came out. It was above the preliminary figure and showed that the economy did not slow down in the first quarter. Consumer prices accelerated in May and reached the CNB target of 2 pct. The inflation, driven mainly by food, alcohol and tobacco, was above consensus. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate decreased further, in line with expectations. Recently, the worsening data from Germany and the Eurozone have suggested a downturn in the Czech Republic, too. This would also influence the interest rates. On the other hand, the negative impression from the news was offset by the good macro figures from the Czech economy, which supported the koruna. Our expectation about the interest rates did not change. We expect the first hike to come in the 3Q.
This week was successful also for other currencies in the region. Thanks to the local factors such as the Czech data and the Polish rate hike, they could resist a negative influence of the global markets. Stocks in Europe and North America fell and so did the euro. This usually shows the way to the CE currencies, but this week was exception.
Global markets remain under pressure of the worsening macro news and the mounting risks for economic outlook. Greek debt crisis is not yet solved. Obviously, the markets are focused mainly on the short-term measures that would prevent the country from defaulting immediately. Some progress has been recently achieved. Greece approved a new austerity package including a privatization program. The country should therefore reach another tranche from the EU/IMF credit line. Besides this money, Greece may also get more aid from the EU members and the IMF and from a bond rollover. In total, the amount might surpass EUR 160bn. However, the idea of rollover to longer bonds is opposed by the ECB. The bank refuses restructuring of the Greek debt in any form and will not participate in the voluntary rollover. There is a tension between the ECB and the German government that, on the contrary, insists on involvement of private investors. The plan for Greece faces big problems and is still seen as a considerable risk.
The debt crisis was likely one of the reasons why the euro failed to benefit from the hawkish ECB statement. Although president Trichet´s “strong vigilance” indicated that a rate hike will very likely come at the next meeting, the euro has weakened significantly.
(2239 GBp, 0,90%) week markets will stay focused on Greece. Besides that, the US retail sales and industrial production will show, whether a downturn comes in, as the last month´s soft indicators suggested. Also the Chinese data may have some short-term impact on trading. Some more macro releases are also scheduled in the Czech Republic, but neither the PPI nor the current account is an important driver.