On Monday, Central European currencies gave up a part of their last week’s gains and weakened by about three quarters of a percent on average. The koruna largely ignored comments of Czech central banker Zamrazilova who had said that the Czech National Bank’s (CNB) board should consider further interest rate cuts with caution and had warned of prospective pro-inflationary impact of the third round of Fed’s quantitative easing.
However, most of Zamrazilova’s peers probably do not share this view. The CNB’s governor Singer said today in a comprehensive interview that risks currently spoke in favor of easier monetary policy than had been indicated in the last inflation report. Moreover, due to the fact that the key repo rate has been at 0.5 percent, i.e. only slightly above zero (Singer noted that Czech official interest rates cannot fall below zero in the current legislative environment), he elaborated on further policy options. Among others, he mentioned that the CNB might intervene against the koruna as well as commit to holding interest rates at low levels for an extended period. At the same time, Singer added he did not consider a Czech version of quantitative easing a suitable policy option.
As far as the impact of the interview on trading is concerned, the koruna extended previous losses and slightly weakened. We believe that interest rate cut (which might come as early as at the meeting next Thursday) along with prospective interventions against the koruna will limit the room for further gains of the Czech currency that might, along with other risky assets, draw support from the third round of US quantitative easing.