Improved sentiment on global markets and equities’ gains bolstered CE currencies that posted modest gains on Wednesday. Nevertheless, as regards the forint, the risk remains that we will see another forint collapse scenario, like in 2003 or 2008, when the central bank was waiting with the rate hike for months and it came as a shock after the exchange rate collapsed.
As far as regional news is concerned, investors focused mainly on the results of Monetary Policy Council meeting in Poland. As had been expected, the NBP left rates unchanged. Rationale here is more or less clear – on the one side, the weaker zloty poses pro-inflationary risk, whereas on the other side, a slowdown in economic growth in Europe and uncertainty related to EMU debt crisis play in favour of lower inflation.
Especially the zloty remains in focus of Poland’s policymakers. The Minister of Finance said yesterday that the ministry would exchange money from EU funds from time to time at favourable rates. The NBP president Marek Belka said at the press conference that further interventions were possible as the zloty remained detached from fundamentals of the Polish economy.
Although European politicians have showed some will in recent days, the underlying sentiment remains fragile. Hence, we expect that the period of heightened uncertainty is not over and that regional currencies could remain under pressure in see-saw trading.