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The Slovak currency stayed virtually unchanged on Friday

4.12.2006 10:48
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The Slovak currency stayed virtually unchanged on Friday. The local currency was still supported by the generally weak US dollar. Some US investors are trading still the same pattern: selling the greenback against the Central European currencies. Thus, the koruna reached the new all time high against the US dollar, trading at USD/SKK 26.67 at the end of the session. Regarding trading against the reference euro currency, koruna opened at EUR/SKK 35.54 and strengthened to EUR/SKK 35.49. However, it weakened slightly in the afternoon and ended the day at EUR/SKK 35.52. The market showed no interest in the released state budget balance for the January – November period.

The deficit stood at SKK 6.9 bn or almost SKK 0.7 bn lower compared to the same period of last year. Total revenues are year to date at the level of 96.1 percent of the planned amount while the total expenditures are only at the level of 81.5 percent. It seems that the total deficit will be lower than the plan for the whole year despite the traditional fiscal loosening in the last month of the year. More interesting news was that the regulatory body approved no electricity price hike for households and a gas price decline by around 3% effective from January 2007. This creates more room for a disinflation trajectory in 2007 and increases the chance of euro adoption in 2009.

The EU Commission said that the inflation criterion is the biggest challenge for most of the new EU entrants. Slovakia is fulfilling only one criterion (long – term interest rates) so far. We reckon that the euro adoption chances increased and are now comfortable above the 50% level. Regarding today’s trading, we expect the koruna to stay within the range of EUR/SKK 35.40 – 35.65.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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