Swedish central bank hikes rates for first time since 2011

Sweden's central bank raised rates for the first time in more than seven years on Thursday, saying inflation was now back on track but that it needed to go more slowly with rate hikes in the period ahead.

"As inflation and inflation expectations have become established at around 2 per cent, the need for a highly expansionary monetary policy has decreased slightly," the central bank said in a statement.

"The forecast for the repo rate indicates that the next rate rise will probably occur during the second half of 2019."

The central bank hiked its repo rate by 25 basis points to -0.25 percent. A Reuters poll had shown two thirds of analysts expecting the Riksbank to keep rates unchanged, with the remainder predicting a tightening.

Sweden's currency jumped more than one percent against the dollar on Thursday after the central bank rate decision.

In early London trading, the crown rallied 1.4 percent to 8.9635 crowns against the dollar and as much as 0.8 percent to 10.2460 crowns against the single currency.