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The Czech koruna inched lower yesterday

5.4.2005 9:47

It slipped in two waves. First, the unit lost some ground in the morning as it reacted to previous the dollar rise, which deteriorated atmosphere in the whole region. Thus the koruna traded in the range of EUR/CZK 30.00-05 in the morning. Later on, the unit decoupled from regional currencies, which recovered partly in the afternoon. In contrary, the koruna got under pressure again in the afternoon, as worries about privatization of Cesky Telecom and future political development prevailed. Czech koruna was under pressure of politics Moreover, Michaela Erbenova, CNB Board member, reminded that there is no reason at the moment for a continued koruna appreciation, neither fundamental, nor non-fundamental such as the Cesky Telecom privatization.

As we wrote before the revenue from the sale would be exchanged via the central bank reserves. Furthermore, there is only low probability that minority shareholders will want to sell their stock to Telefonica. Finally, the company can use the credit in korunas for paying for C.Telecom. The political situation didn’t change significantly yesterday. We are still deadlocked. The presidents Klaus waits with accepting of Ministers’ resignation and Prime Minister Gross gives only vague promises to ask the Parliament for confidence. The key will be Wednesday, when the government will hold regular meeting. The outcome of the meeting can be step-down of the whole government, or some of its members, particularly the Freedom Union’s ministers.

Today the key event is the February foreign trade data. The surplus reached CZK 5.2 bn, pretty in line with expectation. The trade again proved that exports are the most important movers of the economy now. The koruna got little lift from the figure, as the positive development of foreign trade might partly balance other negative factors influencing the koruna. Hence the koruna may not continue to fall today. On the other hand, political uncertainty and the strong dollar is negative for the unit. Thus we expect koruna to hover in the 30.00 zone again.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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