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CEE MARKETS-Currencies firm slightly, PMI data show some improvement

Krisztina Than

BUDAPEST, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Central European currencies firmed on Monday in a positive correction after a week of losses, aided by fresh PMI data showing a slight improvement in economic activity in August across the region after a dip in July. However, worries over the global economy, U.S.-China trade tensions and the threat of a disorderly exit by Britain from the European Union continue to weigh on investor sentiment, and could also dent the region's economic prospects, analysts said. Growth is expected to slow in the remainder of the year and next year in Central Europe, which has produced very strong expansion in the past years, well outpacing the euro zone. "The improvement in PMI only means that the activity was shrinking at a slower pace...This is not a signal of an acceleration in the economy," said Piotr Bielski, the head of economic analysis department at Santander Bank Polska. "This doesnt change (the fact) that rising global trade war tensions and a slowdown in other European countries will keep on affecting Polish companies." Hungary's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.6 in August from a revised 51.2 in July, while the Polish IHS Markit purchasing managers' index for manufacturing rose to 48.8 from 47.4 in July, remaining below the 50.0 level that separates growth from contraction. The Czech headline PMI reading improved to 44.9 in August from a 10-year low of 43.1 in July, data compiled by IHS Markit showed. The Hungarian forint, which hit a record-low of 331.85 last Thursday, edged up 0.14% to 330.92 per euro, while the Polish zloty was 0.27% stronger on Monday from Friday's levels. David Nemeth, an analyst at K&H Bank in Budapest, said growth in the region was expected to slow in the rest of 2019 and next year gradually, but "not tragically." This was a base case scenario. However, if there is a hard Brexit, or the global trade war worsens significantly, that could shave more off Central Europe's GDP growth, he said. "Today's PMI data I would say is neutral," Nemeth said. "The Hungarian data is very much influenced by the fact that there are big construction projects underway, and EU-funded and other investment projects, which bring some impetus." The Czech crown was also marginally firmer, rising 0.2% versus the euro in early trade. "Signals from domestic industry give the central bank an argument for maintaining its wait-and-see attitude with stable interest rates for the remainder of this year," Radomir Jac, CEE chief economist at Generali Investments said. Data on Friday showed Poland's economy expanded by 4.5% year-on-year last quarter and the Czech Republic's by 2.7%, both faster than flash estimates, giving comfort to a region where domestic demand is a key growth driver as the euro zone slows and key trade partner Germany flirts with recession. Hungary's economy expanded by 4.9% in the second quarter year on year.

CEE SNAP ATMARKETS SHOT 1011

CET CURR ENCI ES

Late Previ Daily Changest ousbid close change in 2019EURCZK= Czech 25.9 25.96 +0.18% -0.83%crown 220 90EURHUF= Hungary 330. 331.3 +0.14% -2.97%forint 9200 700EURPLN= Polish 4.36 4.376 +0.27% -1.73%zloty 49 5EURRON= Romanian 4.72 4.726 +0.00% -1.52%leu 60 0EURHRK= Croatian 7.40 7.405 -0.00% +0.05%kuna 60 7EURRSD= Serbian 117. 117.7 +0.14% +0.64%dinar 5500 200Note: calculated from 1800daily CET

change

Late Previ Daily Changest ousclose change in 2019.PX Prague 1040 1037. +0.27% +5.43%.11 2700.BUX Budapest 3978 39794 -0.02% +1.66%7.59 .12.WIG20 Warsaw 2134 2135. -0.04% -6.24%.46 25.BETI Bucharest 9234 9235. -0.02% +25.06.21 72 %.SBITOP Ljubljana 852. 854.8 -0.27% +6.00%51 2.CRBEX Zagreb 1865 1873. -0.41% +6.68%.63 36.BELEX15 Belgrade <.BELEX15 745. 745.0 +0.12% -2.06%> 98 5.SOFIX Sofia 569. 567.4 +0.31% -4.24%23 5

BOND S

Yiel Yield Spread Daily

d (bid chang vs Bund change

) e inCzech spread

Republic

CZ2YT=RR 2-year <CZ2YT=RR 1.13 0.025 +206bp +3bps> 20 0 sCZ5YT=RR 5-year <CZ5YT=RR 0.85 0.019 +180bp +2bps> 70 0 sCZ10YT=RR 10-year <CZ10YT=R 1.05 -0.00 +176bp -2bpsR> 80 80 s

Poland

PL2YT=RR 2-year <PL2YT=RR 1.56 0.001 +249bp +0bps 60 0 sPL5YT=RR 5-year <PL5YT=RR 1.70 0.021 +265bp +2bps> 30 0 sPL10YT=RR 10-year <PL10YT=R 1.86 0.035 +257bp +3bpsR> 70 0 sFORWARD RATE AGREE

MENT

3x6 6x9 9x12 3M

interba nk

Czech Rep < 2.08 1.90 1.73 2.14

PRIBOR=>

Hungary < 0.31 0.36 0.40 0.26

BUBOR=>

Poland < 1.72 1.67 1.60 1.72

WIBOR=>

Note: FRA are for askquotes prices

(Reporting by Krisztina Than in Budapest, Jason Hovet and Robert Muller in Prague and Alicja Ptak in Warsaw; Editing by Toby Chopra)