On Tuesday, CE currencies were trading under the impression of rising uncertainty related to the run-up to today’s EU summit and posted modest losses. Better than expected result of Poland’s retail sales for September had a little impact as well as the figure on unemployment for the same month, which surprised on the upside.
The Czech koruna gave up its early gains and settled at about 24.90 EUR/CZK while the Hungarian forint led losses. Apart from pre EU summit jitters, the decision of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) slightly disappointed some investors as it left interest rates unchanged at 6%.
According to the official statement, the risks to the outlook for inflation and financial market developments warrant a wait-and-see policy stance. At one side, the MNB acknowledged that inflation is likely to pick up in months ahead (as a result of government measures and weaker forint), but at the same time, the outlook for economic growth has deteriorated in recent weeks.
Today, the member of Polish central bank’s Monetary Policy Council Elzbieta Chojna-Duch said that inflation should return to target (2.5%) in mid 2012. That is also in line with our scenario. Moreover, we expect that inflation could dip below the upper bound of the tolerance band (3.5%) in December.
However, more than ever, the focus today will be on Europe. It is clear that the market is no longer expecting the comprehensive solution that was preannounced a few weeks ago. So, it is not excluded that the wait-and-see mode might continue as there won’t be enough ‘hard stuff’ to react to.