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Worries about the Swiss franc intensify

Worries about the Swiss franc intensify

13.7.2011 11:19

Czech Republic
The Czech koruna remained more or less unchanged in a tight range between 24.20-24.25 EUR/CZK. It withstood much lower than expected inflation figures and also ongoing weakness of the neighboring Polish zloty. Although the koruna is definitely much more resilient to the ongoing strengthening of Swiss franc, we remain our negative bias for the koruna untill the Greek issue is resolved.

The Hungarian forint has stabilized around the 269.00 level after worries about the deepening eurozone crisis pushed it to a two weeks’ low. The Swiss franc is the main worry for the country as almost all foreign currency linked loans are linked to the Swiss franc exchange rate, which set a new historic high of 233. A higher exchange rate may worsen loan repayment ratios and could potentially weaken the already hibernated domestic demand. So far, we do not change our growth outlook of 2.7% for this year, but if the exchange rate goes to the 250 level, we may have to revise it lower.

Strengthening Swiss franc continues to weigh on the Polish currency and the zloty moved above 4.05 EUR/PLN for a while yesterday. Polish Deputy Finance minister Dominik Radziwill tried to calm the markets saying a stronger Swiss franc would not threaten the stability of the banking system. Nevertheless it seems clear that the zloty can hardly strengthening untill the situation in eurozone peripheries calms down. That is why a test of 4.12 EUR/PLN is pretty likely
Also lower than expected inflation today should not help the zloty. June’s inflation likely saw a moderate deceleration to 4.8% y/y, according to our forecasts. Even so, it remains far above the 2.5% inflation target of the National Bank of Poland. Unlike the first five months of this year, June’s data should only reveal a negligible month-onmonth rise in food and soft drink prices (their weight in the consumer basket is 24%) and even the first month-on-month decline in fuel prices since February of this year. By contrast, seasonal package tour prices likely went up significantly. We believe that inflation will continue to fall slightly in July and expect that it will peak in August for the second time this year.

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