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The Hungarian forint firmed a touch yesterday

28.2.2006 9:57
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The Hungarian forint firmed a touch yesterday as the central bank confirmed market expectations and left its base rate unchanged. Moreover, the bank released an updated version of its Inflation Report but it did not deliver any significant changes in its macroeconomic estimates (for more see the fixed-income part).

As concerns the post-meeting press conference of NBH’s president Jarai there were two interesting pieces of news for the currency, but the market actually shrugged off both of them. First, Jarai said the next government should pay more attention to the consolidation of the budget than keeping or ditching its target date for euro zone membership. According to Jarai the cabinet after the April elections would do best to admit that the 2010 target date is unachievable. It even shouldn’t see a new date for EMU membership. Secondly, NBH’s president indicated that the bank has not prepared any plan for the conversion of EUR 2 bn worth of eurobonds, which should be issued for financing of Hungary’s motorways.

Looking at th e intra-day trading: EUR/HUF hover in the 252 zone the whole session, while the forint moved into positive territory in the afternoon but it is hard to say whether this price action was related to the meeting of the Monetary Council. Bear in mind that Budapest stock exchange surged at the same so the currency could receive a positive stimuli from the equity market. Today, a release of the January PPI figures is on domestic agenda, but it is no market mover. Much more interesting should be the foreign calendar, with several interesting releases in core markets and a key MPC meeting in Poland. We think the forint should focus mostly on the region this time and watch the reaction of the Polish zloty to the MPC decision, which should be positive in case of a cut.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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