Slovakia's Central Bank Buys Euros

Slovakia's central bank on Thursday began buying up euros in a bid to stem appreciation of its own currency, the koruna, a bank spokesman said.

On Wednesday, the Slovak koruna fell to 34.02 against the euro but after the bank's intervention Thursday, it rose to 34.39, said bank spokesman Igor Barat, up from a morning low of 33.92 koruna.

"The central bank is intervening to stop the koruna from firming too quickly amid low market liquidity," Barat said.

Earlier this month Slovak central bank said that the country's current account deficit widened to 110 billion Slovak crowns ($4.2 billion), or 34.7 billion koruna ($770 million) more than the same time a year ago.

Slovakia aims to join the euro zone in 2009 but must cut its deficit to 3% of gross domestic product to meet European Union criteria, along with reducing its inflation rate.

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