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The Czech koruna last week followed in the footsteps of the appreciation trend of the end of the previous week

8.11.2005 9:07

Last week the Czech koruna followed in the footsteps of the appreciation trend of the end of the previous week, when the CNB raised its key interest rate to the same level as that of the Eurozone. In the first half of the week the improved sentiment towards the region, stemming from the appreciation of the zloty in particular, made the koruna strengthen close to CZK 29.5 per EUR. The lack of major events at the end of the week indicated that the koruna might not be strong enough to continue to appreciate. However, the fact that Eurozone rates remained unchanged and the lack of significant hawkish comments from the ECB gave the koruna the needed power during Thursday’s trading to break through the technical barrier of CZK 29.4 per EUR. Thus the Czech currency firmed to CZK 29.25 per EUR on Thursday and, after a moderate correction, closed the week at around CZK 29.30 per EUR. The koruna should remain strong this week, even if the Central-European region receives additional negative stimuli, mainly from the Polish political scene. September’s foreign trade surplus may have a positive effect, as the koruna could strengthen to less than CZK 29.25 per EUR in reaction. Our opinion is, however, that breaking through more barriers, particularly that of CZK 29.15 per EUR, will require stronger stimuli. In addition, the expectations of a major rise in U.S. rates and the strengthening dollar may be unfavourable for the whole of Central Europe. This week will be very eventful. Tuesday’s inflation data will be crucial in particular; it should include the first portion of the increase in energy prices and in some regulated prices. If the actual data is very different from the consensus (0.6%), the market mood might change. Wednesday’s 15Y bond auction will also depend on this. The government will supply the 3.75/2020 bond for CZK 8 bn. Demand will probably be high enough for the entire amount to be subscribed, although we do not expect demand to exceed supply significantly. Unless the inflation data springs a major surprise, the market will be, as usual, at the mercy of the development of the euro market in particular. That is why we expect stagnation rather than changes on the bond market.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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