(Updates with Czech cenbank decision, market reaction) By Anita Komuves and Robert Muller BUDAPEST/PRAGUE, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The Czech crown firmed on Thursday after the central bank kept rates unchanged, becoming the first in central Europe to halt a year-long tightening cycle, and said it would continue to prevent excessive fluctuations of the crown. The crown was up 0.34% and trading at 24.566 per euro after the decision that left the key two-week repo rate at 7%, interrupting a series of nine consecutive rate hikes that started in June last year. The Czech crown, the best performer in CEE so far this year as the central bank has intervened against weakening pressures since May, gained as the bank said it would continue preventing excessive fluctuations of the crown. A thin majority in a Reuters poll published on Monday expected the Czech National Bank (CNB) to leave rates unchanged. Thursday's rate meeting was the first under new Governor Ales Michl, who has opposed rate hikes in the past year, arguing that prices were increasing because of supply-side effects which the central bank cannot control. Investors were looking ahead to Michl's press conference scheduled for 1345 GMT. Komercni Banka trader Marek Lesko, who expected rates to stay on hold, wrote before the decision that "further down the line, the market sees some more tightening in September with the implied peak repo rate around 7.40%." The crown was forecast to rise 0.6% in the next year, to 24.50 to the euro, in a Reuters poll on Thursday. Analysts in the poll expected the Hungarian forint to stay on the back foot in the coming months before returning to steady gains while the Polish zloty was also seen getting back to moderate gains. The forint eased 0.39% to 395.75 per euro on Thursday after the central bank left its one-week deposit rate unchanged at 10.75% at a weekly tender, as expected. The zloty weakened 0.57% to 4.7230 against the common currency while the Romanian leu edged down 0.06% to 4.9275. CEE SNAPSH AT MARKETS OT 1525 CET CURREN CIES Latest Previo Daily Change us bid close change in 2022 EURCZK Czech 24.566 24.650 +0.34 +1.25 = crown 0 0 % % EURHUF Hungary 395.75 394.20 -0.39% -6.66% = forint 00 00 EURPLN Polish 4.7230 4.6960 -0.57% -2.79% = zloty EURRON Romania 4.9275 4.9247 -0.06% +0.42 = n leu % EURHRK Croatia 7.5120 7.5175 +0.07 +0.07 = n kuna % % EURRSD Serbian 117.38 117.39 +0.01 +0.17 = dinar 00 00 % % Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previo Daily Change us close change in 2022 .PX Prague 1230.8 1225.2 +0.46 3 100 % .BUX Budapes 43487. 42931. +1.30 -14.26 t 80 04 % % .WIG20 Warsaw 1685.4 1688.0 -0.15% -25.65 2 3 % .BETI Buchare 12586. 12476. +0.88 -3.64% st 30 59 % .SBITO Ljublja 1152.7 1142.4 +0.90 -8.18% P na 1 2 % .CRBEX Zagreb 1964.0 1961.6 +0.12 -5.55% 5 6 % .BELEX Belgrad 842.51 841.27 +0.15 +2.65 15 e % % .SOFIX Sofia 606.83 599.85 +1.16 -4.54% % Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs change Bund in Czech spread Republi c CZ2YT= 6.1310 -0.023 +577b +0bps RR 2-year 0 ps CZ5YT= 4.7610 -0.057 +418b -3bps RR 5-year 0 ps CZ10YT <CZ10YT=RR 4.0300 0.0330 +320b +7bps =RR 10-year > ps Poland PL2YT= 6.8810 -0.219 +652b -20bps RR 2-year 0 ps PL5YT= 6.1670 -0.133 +558b -11bps RR 5-year 0 ps PL10YT <PL10YT=RR 5.6240 -0.170 +479b -14bps =RR 10-year > 0 ps FORWARD 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interb ank Czech <P 7.47 7.43 7.07 7.31 Rep RIBOR=> Hungary <B 13.59 13.62 13.00 12.03 UBOR=> Poland <W 7.31 7.31 7.04 7.01 IBOR=> Note: are for ask prices FRA quotes ******************************************* ******************* (Reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest and Robert Muller in Prague with additional reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw Editing by Tomasz Janowski)
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