CEE MARKETS-Zloty firms after central bank says it could strengthen

* Polish central bank confirms forecasts for lower inflation

* Zloty firms slightly, central bank says sees it strengthening

* Romania reports widening in its trade gap

* Serbian CPI data due on Monday seen buoying bond prices

BUDAPEST/WARSAW, March 12 (Reuters) - The zloty firmed against the euro on Monday, outperforming Central European peers, after the Polish central bank (NBP) said in its new inflation report that it expected the currency to strengthen.

Last week the zloty set its weakest levels since the middle of December, after NBP Governor Adam Glapinski said he saw no reason to start to lift record-low interest rates until the end of 2020. While the report confirmed new forecasts for faster economic growth and lower inflation, Glapinski's projection about interest rates is not set in stone, analysts said. Forward rate agreements priced in a hike of about 18 basis point in the next 12 months, less than the NBP's standard 25 bp. "(The NBH's communication) may change quickly in the course of 2018, so that rate hikes for 2019 may return on the NBP agenda," Raiffeisen analyst Gunter Deuber said in a note. A likely pick-up in inflation in core global markets and the Czech Republic in the coming months could also reinforce expectations for further Czech central bank rate hikes and help the crown rebound, he added. It eased a shade versus the euro on Monday, to 25.475, staying near Friday's 6-week lows. The zloty firmed 0.1 percent to 4.1893 against the euro by 0859 GMT after the report which said it should strengthen. A stronger zloty makes imports cheaper, and Poland reported a 0.5 billion euro trade deficit for January on Monday. But the trade gap is much less of a worry in Poland than in Romania where it has been boosted by surging wages. The deficit in Romania, a much smaller economy than Poland, widened by roughly a third on the year in January to 775 million euros. February Romanian inflation figures due on Tuesday are likely to show a further pick-up, to about 4.7 percent in annual terms, analysts said. The Romanian central bank is likely to deliver two more hikes in its 2.75 percent policy rate this year, Erste analysts said in a note. Investors are likely to demand a higher inflation premium on the 2023-expiry bonds which Romania reopens on Monday than in the first tap two months ago, the Raiffeisen note said. Government bonds changed little in the region, including euro zone member Slovakia, which struggles with a domestic political crisis. Serbia is due to release February inflation data at 1100 GMT, which may fuel speculation for lower Serbian central bank rates and increased demand for 5-year government bonds at an auction on Tuesday, Raiffeisen said.



Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2018 Czech <EURCZK= 25.4750 25.4700 -0.02% +0.26% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 311.5000 311.5800 +0.03% -0.19% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.1893 4.1937 +0.11% -0.31% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.6600 4.6570 -0.06% +0.42% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4350 7.4375 +0.03% -0.06% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.9000 117.7900 -0.09% +0.51% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET

daily change

Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2018 Prague 1127.05 1123.600 +0.31% +4.53%


Budapest 38745.11 38411.50 +0.87% -1.61% Warsaw 2364.66 2354.54 +0.43% -3.92% Bucharest 8545.88 8477.18 +0.81% +10.22% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 818.14 818.45 -0.04% +1.46% > Zagreb 1855.08 1857.70 -0.14% +0.66% Belgrade <.BELEX1 740.34 741.06 -0.10% -2.56%


Sofia 684.23 685.86 -0.24% +1.00%


Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change


Czech spread


2-year <CZ2YT=R 0.8450 0.0140 +140bps +2bps


5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.2860 -0.0010 +127bps +2bps


10-year <CZ10YT= 1.9550 0.0040 +131bps +1bps

RR> Poland

2-year <PL2YT=R 1.5950 0.0060 +215bps +1bps


5-year <PL5YT=R 2.5190 0.0040 +250bps +2bps


10-year <PL10YT= 3.3140 0.0200 +267bps +3bps




3x6 6x9 9x12 3M

interban k

Czech Rep 0.95 1.06 1.22 0.90



Hungary 0.07 0.10 0.18 0.03 Poland 1.74 1.77 1.83 1.71

Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes



(Reporting by Sandor Peto, editing by Ed Osmond)