Wires

CEE MARKETS-Stocks plummet; Budapest down 9% as coronavirus turmoil escalates

Larry King

BUDAPEST, March 12 (Reuters) - Central European stock markets plunged to multi-year lows on Thursday, led by Budapest with a 9% decline, after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed strict travel limits in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Warsaw's blue-chip index slumped 7.6% to its lowest since mid-2009. The Prague index fell more than 5% to its lowest since July 2016. Budapest was at its lowest since May 2017 as investors digested the unexpected U.S. measure and looked to the European Central Bank, which holds a meeting on Thursday and is expected to announce stimulus measures. The stocks of Central Europe's largest independent bank, OTP Bank, plummeted over 13%. "The volatility of zloty and forint exchange rates shot up and stock markets in Poland and Hungary were battered amid fresh fears of virus spread, which led to both countries declaring states of emergency and suspending key economic activities," Commerzbank said in a note. The Czech Republic is also introducing controls on its borders with Germany and Austria and banning crossings away from official frontier border posts to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on Wednesday.

The ECB is all but certain to introduce new stimulus measures on Thursday, pushing policy closer to its limits to help the euro zone economy cope with the shock of the coronavirus pandemic. nL8N2B51Y9 "The only question is, how far-reaching the package of measures will be," Commerzbank analysts said "Will the ECB get the bazooka out again and surprise the market with far-reaching measures or will it disappoint the market?" Hungary on Wednesday banned inbound travel from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China for non-Hungarians in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Analysts were increasingly drawing parallels with the 2008 economic crisis and assessing the expected economic fallout globally. The region's currencies all weakened, with the Czech crown losing almost one percent, as markets weigh whether the central bank will reverse its recent interest rate tightening as the economy comes under strain. Romanian lawmakers meet late on Thursday to decide whether to give their vote of confidence to designated Prime Minister Florin Citu's government. Citu's minority Liberal Party has been trying to trigger early elections. His cabinet was initially expected to fail the vote, but chances for a positive vote are increasing after the spread of coronavirus cases.

CEE SNAPSHO ATMARKETS T 0912

CET CURRENC IES

Latest Previou Daily Change

s

bid close change in 2020EURCZK Czech <EURCZK 25.9900 25.7600 -0.88% -2.15%= crown =>EURHUF Hungary <EURHUF 337.350 336.250 -0.33% -1.84%= forint => 0 0EURPLN Polish <EURPLN 4.3340 4.3162 -0.41% -1.79%= zloty =>EURRON Romanian <EURRON 4.8195 4.8189 -0.01% -0.65%= leu =>EURHRK Croatian <EURHRK 7.5740 7.5755 +0.02% -1.70%= kuna =>EURRSD Serbian <EURRSD 117.630 117.630 +0.00% -0.05%= dinar => 0 0Note: calculated from 1800daily CET

change

Latest Previou Daily Change

s

close change in 2020.PX Prague 840.48 885.100 -5.04% -24.66%

0

.BUX Budapest 33288.3 36536.2 -8.89% -27.76%7 4.WIG20 Warsaw <.WIG20 1403.10 1505.64 -6.81% -34.74%>.BETI Buchares 7880.06 8381.47 -5.98% -21.02%

t

.SBITO Ljubljan <.SBITO 827.84 827.84 +0.00% -10.59%P a P>.CRBEX Zagreb <.CRBEX 1591.42 1591.42 +0.00% -21.12%>.BELEX Belgrade <.BELEX 752.28 752.28 +0.00% -6.16%15 15>.SOFIX Sofia <.SOFIX 495.12 495.12 +0.00% -12.85%>Yield Yield Spread Daily(bid) change vs Bund change

in

Czech spread

Republic

CZ2YT= 2-year <CZ2YT= 1.8320 0.0000 +281bp +2bpsRR RR> sCZ5YT= 5-year <CZ5YT= 1.1390 0.0010 +207bp +1bpsRR RR> sCZ10YT <CZ10YT 1.1310 0.0000 +190bp +2bps=RR 10-year =RR> s

Poland

PL2YT= 2-year <PL2YT= 1.2290 -0.0040 +221bp +2bpsRR RR> sPL5YT= 5-year <PL5YT= 1.4910 0.0000 +242bp +1bpsRR RR> sPL10YT <PL10YT 1.7150 0.0020 +249bp +2bps=RR 10-year =RR> s

FORWARD

3x6 6x9 9x12 3M

interba nk

Czech <CZKFRA 1.82 1.38 1.05 2.34Rep ><PRIBO

R=>

Hungary <HUFFRA 0.58 0.57 0.60 0.67><BUBOR

=>

Poland <PLNFRA 1.39 1.11 0.96 1.69><WIBOR

=>

Note: are for askFRA prices

quotes

(Additional reporting by Jason Hovet and Alan Charlish, editing )