(Adds bond market, new comments, updates prices)
* Polish, Hungarian bonds firmer on comments suggesting rate cuts
* Polish PM talks down zloty, Hungary IMF deal hope shields forint
* Serbian dinar continues rise after rate increase
By Karolina Slowikowska and Sandor Peto
WARSAW/BUDAPEST, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Hungarian and Polish government bondsfirmed on Wednesday as central bankers indicated further interest rate cuts tohelp their economies hit by Europe's economic slowdown.
The expectations for rate cuts weakened the zloty, which was also hit byPolish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's comment that an exchange rate of 4.5 zlotysto the euro, much weaker than now, would be good for the economy.
Hungary's forint firmed as market hopes for the resumption of talks with theInternational Monetary Fund on a safety net and new budget cuts announced lastweek underpinned the volatile currency.
Elsewhere in Central Europe, the dinar
firmed 0.6 percent to theeuro to 113.85 by 1441 GMT, extending gains after the Serbian central bankcaused surprise by raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to10.75 percent on Tuesday.
In several states of the region, central banks are seen easing monetarypolicy rather than tightening as the euro zone crisis weighs on exports andconsumer sentiment.
fell 0.3 percent against the euro to 4.09,pressured by Tusk's preference for a weaker unit, while demand for Polishgovernment bonds limited the zloty's loss.
Polish yields fell 2-3 basis points, with 2-year bonds trading at 3.99percent after dovish comments by Polish central bankers.
Rate setter Andrzej Bratkowski, who has been calling for cuts for severalmonths, told Reuters he would now back even a big one-off reduction of 75 basispoints in the key rate, from the current 4.75 percent, to help the ailingeconomy.
Jerzy Hausner, regarded as an inflation hawk, meanwhile told state newsagency PAP that the bank's inflation projections due next month could pave theway for rate easing.
HOPE FOR AID SHIELDS HUNGARY
Hungarian government bond yields dropped 5 basis points, with 3-year papertrading at 6.51 percent as the minutes of the last central bank rate meetingconfirmed the bank may continue rate cuts that started in August, depending onmarket and inflation risks.
"FRAs (forward rate agreements) price in a 25 basis point cut (in the 6.5percent base rate) in October and that the base rate could go down to 6 percentor even lower by the end of the year," one Budapest-based fixed income tradersaid.
firmed half a percent to 281.92 per euro as investorsshrugged off sobering comments by rating agency Fitch.
Fitch warned Hungary not to go without International Monetary Fund supportafter months of wrangling which has failed to result in a financing deal.
firmed 0.2 percent to 4.565 against the euro as Romania'sannual inflation jumped to 5.3 percent on the year in September, above thecentral bank's target and reducing its scope to cut interest rates.
"We still expect the depreciation trend to continue, possibly past 4.60 pereuro in the coming weeks, but the weakening could slow a bit given the recentinflation surprise," said ING analyst Mihai Tantaru.
"We doubt the consumer price dynamics will shift the trend of the RON as themarket will probably not look for an extended rate hiking cycle given the poorgrowth prospects, which were freshly darkened by today's industrial outputdata."
Elsewhere, the Czech crownfirmed 0.4 percent to 24.89 against theeuro. Central European equity markets were mixed.
Currency Latest Previous Local Localclose currency currencychange changetoday in 2012Czech crown
24.89 24.995 +0.42% +2.63%
Polish zloty4.09 4.079 -0.27% +9.16%Hungarian forint281.92 283.36 +0.51% +11.59%Croatian kuna7.49 7.485 -0.07% +0.34%Romanian leu4.565 4.574 +0.2% -5.35%Serbian dinar113.89 114.57 +0.6% -6.09%Yield SpreadsCzech treasury bonds2-yr T-bond CZ2YT=RR 0 basis points to 46bps over bmk*7-yr T-bond CZ7YT=RR -6 basis points to +78bps over bmk*10-yr T-bond CZ9YT=RR -1 basis points to +133bps over bmk*
Polish treasury bonds
2-yr T-bond PL2YT=RR -2 basis points to +395bps over bmk*
5-yr T-bond PL5YT=RR -2 basis points to +362bps over bmk*
10-yr T-bond PL10YT=RR -1 basis points to +314bps over bmk*
Hungarian treasury bonds3-yr T-bond HU3YT=RR -4 basis points to +639bps over bmk*5-yr T-bond HU5YT=RR -4 basis points to +606bps over bmk*
10-yr T-bond HU10YT=RR +6 basis points to +560bps over bmk*
*Benchmark is German bond equivalent.
All data taken from Reuters at 1641 CET.
Currency percent change calculated from the daily domestic
close at 1600 GMT.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by Karolina Slowikowska and Sandor Peto;Editing by Anthony Barker)
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