CEE MARKETS-Currencies extend gains ahead of key economic data

BUDAPEST/PRAGUE, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Central European currencies firmed on Tuesday on increased appetite for risk ahead of key economic output figures in the region, and as fears subsided that North Korea may fire a missile towards U.S. island Guam. Turnover in regional markets was light, with Croatia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia enjoying national holidays. The zloty firmed 0.3 percent to 4.281 against the euro by 0839 GMT. The forint strengthened 0.2 percent, while the Czech crown and the leu gained 0.1 percent. "If there is nothing particular happening, Hungary's trade surplus makes strengthening the natural direction for the forint," one Budapest-based dealer said. "The summer keeps turnover so low, though, that (regional currencies) are unlikely to move much in any direction before September ... when we will see what the Fed and the ECB want to do," the dealer added. Healthy exports have helped the region's countries post trade surpluses or run manageable deficits, despite fast-rising wages and labour shortages. A rise in consumption and a pick-up in the inflow of European Union funding also contribute to robust economic growth rates in the region of 3-5 percent in most of Central Europe. The region's main states will release second-quarter economic output data on Wednesday. A slight slowdown is expected, with still robust growth rates. An upside surprise could further lift regional currencies, increasing the odds that Hungary's central bank, which will meet next week, further eases monetary conditions if it wants to remove upwards momentum in the forint. Equally the Czech central bank (CNB) may not rush into further rate hikes. Early this month the CNB became the first EU central bank to lift interest rates in more than five years, and it has made clear that a strengthening of the crown would reduce the need of a further rise in interest rates to fight inflation. The crown has firmed more than 3 percent versus the euro since the CNB in April abandoned a cap which had kept the currency weaker than 27 per euro for 3-1/2 years. Before the widely expected move, investors bought tens of billions of euros worth of crowns, betting on a strengthening. The crown traded at 26.147 against the euro by 0839 GMT. "The market is overbought, people are waiting for the crown to go a bit stronger to close their positions, but ... nobody is in a rush anywhere," a Prague-based dealer said.



Latest Previo Daily Change


bid close change in


Czech crown 26.147 26.167 +0.08 3.29% 0 5 % Hungary 304.30 304.88 +0.19 1.49% forint 00 50 % Polish zloty 4.2810 4.2929 +0.28 2.87%


Romanian leu 4.5700 4.5739 +0.08 -0.77%


Croatian 7.3910 7.3982 +0.10 2.22% kuna % Serbian 119.33 119.56 +0.19 3.37% dinar 00 00 % Note: daily calculated previo close 1800 change from us at CET


Latest Previo Daily Change


close change in


Prague 1032.3 1030.7 +0.16 +12.0 6 4 % 2% Budapest 36759. 36803. -0.12% +14.8 34 02 6% Belgrade 715.47 717.89 -0.34% -0.26% Sofia 728.29 727.61 +0.09 +24.1 % 9%


Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs change Bund in Czech spread


2-year 0.026 0 +074b -1bps


5-year 0.083 0.001 +036b -1bps


10-year 0.865 0 +044b -1bps



interb ank

Czech Rep <PR 0.55 0.66 0.76 0


Hungary <BU 0.23 0.29 0.35 0.15


Note: FRA are for ask quotes prices ******************************************************** *****

(Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by David Holmes)