PRAGUE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Here are news stories, press reports and events to watch which may affect Czech financial markets on Wednesday. ALL TIMES GMT (Czech Republic: GMT + 1 hour) =========================ECONOMIC DATA========================== Real-time economic data releases.................... Summary of economic data and forecasts........... Recently released economic data.................. Previous stories on Czech data............. **For a schedule of corporate and economic events: here ============================NEWS/EVENTS======================== RATES: The Czech central bank will meet on interest rates, with a decision expected at 1:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) and news conference at 2:15 p.m. The bank will probably keep rates unchanged until the end of 2020 as the board balances inflationary pressures in the domestic economy with a weaker situation abroad, a Reuters poll showed. PROTEST: Thousands of Czechs protested against Prime Minister Andrej Babis for a second week in a row on Tuesday after prosecutors reopened a case into alleged subsidy fraud and Brussels declared a conflict of interest between his businesses and political role. 5G: The Czech Republic may postpone an auction of 5G next generation telecom network frequencies from January to mid-2020 to widen participation, its industry minister said on Tuesday. CEE MARKETS: The forint fell 0.4% on Tuesday, weakening beyond a key level against the euro, with investors on alert for potential changes to the Hungarian central bank's unconventional policy toolkit. HUNGARY RATES: Hungary's central bank left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday as expected and maintained its loose policy stance, saying inflation risks have become balanced again as recession fears have subsided in the euro zone. Central Europe's most dovish central bank raised its 2020 Hungarian GDP forecast to 3.7% from a previous 3.3% projection, and said it would extend the programme to buy corporate bonds that it began in July by 150 billion forints ($494.45 million) next year, to help local companies get access to funding. EUROPE POWER: European spot electricity contracts for year-ahead delivery rose on Tuesday on strong gains in carbon emissions and associated fuels prices, while a fall in wind generation and delays in nuclear reactor restarts in France buoyed day-ahead prices. ---------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT ------------------------ Index/Crown Currency Latest Prev Pct change Pct change close on day in 2019 vs Euro 25.416 25.422 0.02 1.09 vs Dollar 22.818 22.807 -0.05 -1.8 Czech Equities 1,101.1 1,101.1 0.1 11.61 U.S. Equities 28,267.16 28,235.89 0.11 21.18 Pvs close or current levels vs prior domestic close at 1600 GMT ===========================PRESS DIGEST========================= REAL ESTATE: Funds Round Hill Capital and Blackstone have begun talks on the possible sale of Residomo, which with 43,000 units in northern Moravia is the largest rental property owner in the country. The price could be in the tens of billions of crowns and foreign funds have shown interest, the paper said. Hospodarske Noviny, page 1 WAGES: Utility CEZ agreed with unions on a pay rise of 3-5% next year. Hospodarske Noviny, page 13 CIGARETTES: The lower house formally approved a tax package that includes a record rise of 10% for cigarettes. Lidove Noviny, page 12 MORTGAGES: The average mortgage rate fell in November to 2.35% from 2.36% the month prior, according to Fincentrum's Hypoindex. CTK news agency (Reuters has not verified the stories, nor does it vouch for their accuracy.) Prague Newsroom: +420 224 190 477 E-mail: email@example.com (Reporting by Prague Newsroom)
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