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Financials

UPDATE 1-Czech central banker Lizal says higher chance of weaker crown cap

* Reiterates policy exit not before H2 2016

* Market respects floor, does not expect move

* Expects interest rates to stay low for a long time (Adds quotes, exchange rate)

PRAGUE, April 9 (Reuters) - The probability has grown that the Czech central bank may move its cap on the crown currency’s exchange rate to a weaker level than the current 27 per euro , bank board member Lubomir Lizal said on Thursday.

“It is like when a meteorologist says that it got cloudy then the probability that it will rain is simply higher,” Lizal told an asset management conference.

Lizal’s view chimed in with comments by the central bank after its last policy meeting on March 26, when bank governor Miroslav Singer said it could adjust the cap to a weaker level if necessary.

The market believes the bank can defend the current floor and is for now unlikely to shift it to a weaker level.

Lizal also reiterated that the weak crown policy would stay in place until at least the second half of 2016.

He said exiting the intervention regime was only the first step toward normalising monetary policy. That will be completed only when interest rates are high enough - somewhere around 1.5 percent - that the bank can freely move them in either direction.

“(Full normalisation) is a dream that I will probably not live to see at the central bank... I believe that the period of low interest rates will be longer than we have been thinking,” he said.

Lizal’s first of two possible six-year terms on the bank’s board ends in February 2017.

The bank cut its main interest rate to 0.05 percent in 2012 before weakening the crown in November 2013 as an alternative way of loosening monetary policy.

The crown dipped to 27.395 to the euro after Lizal’s comments, from 27.37 before. (Reporting by Robert Muller; Writing by Jan Lopatka; editing by John Stonestreet)

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