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The Czech koruna opened stronger yesterday

10.3.2005 10:07
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The Czech koruna opened stronger yesterday, as it touched new high EUR/CZK 29.30 in the first hour of the trading. However, the rise was quickly out of steam and the koruna fell into sideways channel around 29.35. Surprisingly high construction activity in January, namely 14.2 % y/y, hardly affected the market. Construction mainly gained from good weather conditions. Further, balance of payments for the last quarter 2004 brought nothing new, since that’s only sum of already released monthly data. Thus more important for the market were comments from the central bank. Vice-governor Ludek Niedermayer frightened the market that intervention is still measure of the bank. Another member of the CNB’s Board Pavel Rezabek saw room for larger interest rate cut than 25 bps. Moreover, he didn’t want to wait to the end of the month. Finally even government officials afraid of impacts of the strong koruna on the economy. Nevertheless the correction on the Polish FX market helped to curb the koruna, too.

Thus the market should closely watch today’s CNB’s Board meeting. The board should not discuss the monetary policy, but recent koruna rise may bring it into today’s agenda. We do not expect a rate cut as the main scenario, but a reduction is not completely excluded. However, warning comments on the koruna are likely. Hence we do not see the koruna to rise today. Nevertheless, GDP growth in Q4 which came in 4.3 % y/y is supportive for the koruna. The market expected weaker growth, namely 4 %. The growth was driven by export and investment, while households consumption rise sharply fell. Furthermore nominal wages were in Q4 only 6.3 % higher than in the same period of the previous year. Thus figures are more or less neutral for central bank’s consideration of the cut.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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