CEE MARKETS 3-Romania's assets surge on JPMorgan index move
* Inclusion in JPMorgan's debt index boost Romanian bonds * Leu hits one-year high, Romanian yields at record lows * Verbal interventions, expected rate cuts pressure zloty By Sam Cage and Karolina Slowikowska BUCHAREST/WARSAW, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Romanian bond yields fell to record lows on Wednesday and the leu hit a one-year high after JPMorgan included the country's debt in its emerging market index. The news pushed Romanian yields 15 basis points lower. It and a similar move by Barclays in November should increase the pool of investors and increase liquidity in the small market. Yields on Romania's five-year bonds were down to about 5.5-5.6 percent, the lowest level since 1989. "Because of Romania's inclusion in JPMorgan's index, the secondary market will see a boost together with foreign investor interest," said a Bucharest dealer. Bond yields have already fallen by up to 50 basis points along the curve since the December 9 election, which calmed unease over the country's governance and political stability, and more strength is expected ahead. "We expect the rally to continue, due to a convergence trade, a realignment of local rates, support from inclusion in the local bond indices and reasonable fundamentals," said UniCredit analyst Dan Bucsa. The Romanian leu also drew support from JPMorgan's move, outperforming other currencies in the region, which are under pressure from verbal interventions and expected rate cuts ahead. At 1430 GMT, the leu traded at 4.32 against the euro, its highest level since January 2012. Elsewhere in the region, the Hungarian forint and Poland's zloty, which have all lost more than 1 percent in January on the prospect of lower interest rates and official comments seeking to weaken currencies, fell on Wednesday. The forint led the region's losses, also hit by expectations that a soon-to-be-appointed new central bank governor will flood the economy with cheap credit using unconventional tools The forint shed 0.5 percent against the euro. The zloty was down 0.4 percent against the euro, under pressure from finance ministry officials who have been highlighting threats from the strong currency to the slowing economy. Expectations that Friday's industrial output data may disappoint also undermined the zloty, dealers said. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast a 7 percent annual drop in output in December. The Czech crown was relatively stable on Wednesday. --------------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT-------------------- Currency Latest Previous Local Local close currency currency change change today in 2013 Czech crown 25.576 25.565 -0.04% -2.06% Polish zloty 4.126 4.114 -0.29% -1.26% Hungarian forint 295.13 293.82 -0.44% -1.41% Croatian kuna 7.558 7.56 +0.03% -0.09% Romanian leu 4.328 4.341 +0.3% +2.66% Serbian dinar 112.11 111.9 -0.19% +0.17% Yield Spreads Czech treasury bonds 2-yr T-bond CZ2YT=RR -12 basis points to 2bps over bmk* 7-yr T-bond CZ7YT=RR +1 basis points to +53bps over bmk* 10-yr T-bond CZ9YT=RR +4 basis points to +115bps over bmk* Polish treasury bonds 2-yr T-bond PL2YT=RR +2 basis points to +325bps over bmk* 5-yr T-bond PL5YT=RR +4 basis points to +305bps over bmk* 10-yr T-bond PL10YT=RR +3 basis points to +255bps over bmk* The Hungarian treasury bonds 3-yr T-bond HU3YT=RR +1 basis points to +530bps over bmk* 5-yr T-bond HU5YT=RR +5 basis points to +521bps over bmk* 10-yr T-bond HU10YT=RR +7 basis points to +470bps over bmk* *Benchmark is German bond equivalent. All data taken from Reuters at 1438 CET. Currency percent change calculated from the daily domestic close at 1700 GMT.