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Krisztina Than

Hungary's favorite gardener still digging up new tips as he turns 100

Jul 19 2019

BUDAPEST Gyorgy Balint, Hungary's favorite gardener, turns 100 this month and his advice is more sought after than ever. | Video

China says U.S. should 'not play with fire' on Taiwan

Jul 12 2019

BUDAPEST China's top diplomat Wang Yi warned the United States on Friday that it should "not play with fire" on the question of Taiwan, expressing anger about a planned U.S. arms sale.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies on weaker footing after US data, inflation eyed

Jul 08 2019

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST, July 8 Central European currencies started Monday on a weaker footing after strong payroll data in the U.S. on Friday dampened rate cut hopes and boosted the dollar, which weighed on riskier assets in the emerging region of the European Union. The strength of the dollar has kept a lid on Central European currencies for some time. "We assume that thanks to Friday's solid payroll data and signals from the Fed, expectations for an interest rate cut in the U.S. in July will fall, which will be positive for the dollar and negative for the zloty and other CEE currencies," said Marcin Sulewski, economist at Santander Bank Polska. "In the next few days we expect some profit-taking on the zloty, supported by an expected strengthening of the dollar." Given the strength shown in U.S. jobs data, investors now expect U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to go slow on rate cuts this year. "Most emerging market currencies weakened on Friday and the forint was no exception," brokerage Equilor said in a note. If the forint weakens beyond a support level of 324.40, it said, then it could ease further towards 325 versus the euro, and then even to 327.50. At 0800 GMT, the forint traded at 324.24, steady from Friday, but down one percent so far this year. Besides signals from the Fed, investors in Central Europe will be also closely watching inflation data coming out this week in the region. A dovish shift by the European Central Bank has reduced pressure on the region's monetary authorities in recent weeks to tighten their own policy, even though inflation has picked up this year. In its fresh inflation report published on Monday, the Polish central bank sees inflation rising to 2.9% next year from 2% this year, while it projects that economic growth will slow to 4% from 4.5%. Hungary's annual headline inflation is expected to have slowed to 3.6% in June from 3.9% in May, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. The data is due to be published on Tuesday. "The Hungarian labour market remains tight but slowing growth and disinflationary pressure from abroad should contribute to a moderation in the middle of 2020," Morgan Stanley said in a note. Late last month the Hungarian central bank left interest rates unchanged and kept its dovish stance despite raising its inflation forecasts for the coming years, after the European Central Bank (ECB) flagged further easing. Deputy Governor Marton Nagy has told Reuters in an interview that the economy is in a high-pressure phase with strong wage and output growth, but the risk of overheating was very low despite inflation nearing the top of its 2-4% target range. "We think a more dovish ECB will delay the process of (Hungarian monetary policy) normalisation," Morgan Stanley said. CEE SNAPSHO AT 1000 MARKETS T CET CURRENC IES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 EURCZK= Czech <EURCZK= 25.4920 25.5045 +0.05 +0.84% crown > % EURHUF= Hungary <EURHUF= 324.240 324.3600 +0.04 -0.97% forint > 0 % EURPLN= Polish <EURPLN= 4.2517 4.2515 -0.01% +0.89% zloty > EURRON= Romania <EURRON= 4.7240 4.7243 +0.01 -1.48% n leu > % EURHRK= Croatia <EURHRK= 7.3950 7.3980 +0.04 +0.20% n kuna > % EURRSD= Serbian <EURRSD= 117.640 117.7000 +0.05 +0.56% dinar > 0 % Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1052.90 1052.1000 +0.08 +6.72% % .BUX Budapes 41007.7 41016.65 -0.02% +4.77% t 5 .WIG20 Warsaw 2340.01 2342.01 -0.09% +2.78% .BETI Buchare 8908.04 8967.08 -0.66% +20.64% st .SBITOP Ljublja <.SBITOP 886.90 890.20 -0.37% +10.28% na > .CRBEX Zagreb 1888.77 1895.96 -0.38% +8.00% .BELEX1 Belgrad <.BELEX1 742.71 743.57 -0.12% -2.49% 5 e 5> .SOFIX Sofia 580.87 580.70 +0.03 -2.29% % BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs change in Bund Czech spread Republi c CZ2YT=R <CZ2YT=R 1.5170 0.0370 +226b +4bps R 2-year R> ps CZ5YT=R <CZ5YT=R 1.3470 0.1090 +203b +11bps R 5-year R> ps CZ10YT= <CZ10YT= 1.4690 -0.0190 +185b +0bps RR 10-year RR> ps Poland PL2YT=R <PL2YT=R 1.6190 -0.0950 +236b -9bps R 2-year R> ps PL5YT=R <PL5YT=R 1.9000 0.0040 +258b +1bps R 5-year R> ps PL10YT= <PL10YT= 2.2770 -0.0100 +265b +1bps RR 10-year RR> ps FORWARD RATE AGREEMENT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interbank Czech 2.17 2.07 1.98 2.17 Rep <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.30 0.38 0.46 0.25 Poland 1.73 1.72 1.70 1.72 Note: are for ask FRA prices quotes (Reporting by Krisztina Than, additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw Editing by Gareth Jones)

CEE MARKETS-Currencies steady, Romanian central bank meeting eyed

Jul 04 2019

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST, July 4 Central European currencies were steady on Thursday while stock markets were seeking direction, with Budapest shares opening a shade higher after Wall Street hit record highs on Wednesday. Romania's central bank will hold a meeting later in the day where it is expected to keep interest rates on hold, similar to the Polish central bank which held rates on Wednesday despite a rise in inflation. Growth and inflation have crept higher in several eastern European economies. However, the easing bias in core markets has allowed its central banks to avoid rate hikes, analysts have said. Polish, Czech and Hungarian central banks are all expected to keep rates flat this year. The central banks in Central Europe have adopted a wait-and-see stance as there are growing expectations that a slowdown in the euro zone and lower than expected price growth there would also dampen inflation in Central Europe via lower import prices. "Despite the revival of core inflation, the (Polish) MPC maintains a high bar for action, in our view," Morgan Stanley said in a note. "Even if inflation continued to surprise on the upside, we think the NBP would downplay this on the grounds of expected moderation in the medium term." ​The Polish central bank kept rates on hold on Wednesday and increased its CPI and GDP growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 and reiterated that there may be no need to change rates until 2022. The Polish zloty was flat versus the euro at 0822 GMT, and so was the Hungarian forint. "We expect increased volatility in the core markets tomorrow, when the data from the US labour market will be available. These will be important in shaping market expectations ahead of the July Fed meeting," Bank Millennium said in a note. In Romania, the central bank hiked its main rate to 2.50% in May 2018 and has since tightened monetary policy by controlling money market liquidity, which it said gave it more flexibility. Inflation is expected to remain above the bank's 1.5-3.5% target this year. Economic growth is set to slow, while fiscal and current account deficits are rising, fuelled by consumption-friendly public sector wage hikes. Romanian central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu will hold a briefing at 1200 GMT after the rate decision. CEE SNAPSHO AT MARKETS T 1022 CET CURRENC IES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2019 Czech 25.440 25.4590 n/a n/a crown Hungary 322.400 322.550 +0.05% -0.41% forint 0 0 Polish 4.2393 4.2420 +0.06% +1.19% zloty Romanian 4.7250 4.7240 -0.02% -1.50% leu Croatian 7.3950 7.3973 +0.03% +0.20% kuna Serbian 117.720 117.800 +0.07% +0.49% dinar 0 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2019 Prague 1049.04 1049.29 -0.02% +6.33% 00 Budapest 41106.6 40985.1 +0.30% +5.03% 6 8 Warsaw 2345.53 2345.56 -0.00% +3.03% Bucharest 8860.80 8845.25 +0.18% +20.01% Ljubljana 880.89 880.89 +0.00% +9.53% Zagreb 1879.00 1879.00 +0.00% +7.44% Belgrade <.BELEX15 741.88 741.88 +0.00% -2.60% > Sofia 581.48 581.48 +0.00% -2.18% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=RR 1.5190 0.0370 +227bp +3bps > s 5-year <CZ5YT=RR 1.3500 0.0340 +204bp +4bps > s 10-year <CZ10YT=R 1.4890 -0.0050 +188bp +0bps R> s Poland 2-year <PL2YT=RR 1.5840 -0.0050 +233bp -1bps > s 5-year <PL5YT=RR 1.9000 -0.0020 +259bp +0bps > s 10-year <PL10YT=R 2.3170 0.0060 +271bp +1bps R> s FORWARD RATE AGREEME NT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interbank Czech Rep < 2.17 2.10 2.00 2.17 PRIBOR=> Hungary < 0.34 0.45 0.56 0.25 BUBOR=> Poland < 1.75 1.72 1.72 1.72 WIBOR=> Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes *********************************************** *************** (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Toby Chopra)

EU's eastern bloc ignored in top jobs deal

Jul 03 2019

BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST Eastern European states have ended up empty-handed in the EU top jobs bonanza after they expended all their political capital in successfully blocking Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans from becoming president of the executive European Commission.

EU's eastern bloc ignored in top jobs deal

Jul 03 2019

BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST Eastern European states have ended up empty-handed in the EU top jobs bonanza after they expended all their political capital in successfully blocking Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans from becoming president of the executive European Commission.

Risk of Hungary's booming economy overheating is very low: central banker

Jun 26 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary's economy is in a high-pressure phase with strong wage and output growth, but the risk of overheating is very low as investments are booming and it is running a current account surplus, a senior central banker said on Wednesday.

UPDATE 2-Hungarian central bank sticks to dovish stance despite CPI rise

Jun 25 2019

BUDAPEST, June 25 Hungary's central bank left interest rates unchanged on Tuesday and kept its dovish stance despite a strong increase in inflation, after the European Central Bank (ECB) flagged further easing earlier this month.

Hungary central bank expected to leave rates unchanged in June: Reuters poll

Jun 20 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary's central bank is expected to put off raising its overnight deposit rate after the European Central Bank reversed its course on policy because of sluggish inflation in the euro zone, Hungary's main trading partner.

UPDATE 1-Hungary central bank holds extraordinary FX swap tender to ease liquidity shortage

Jun 19 2019

BUDAPEST, June 19 The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) provided 463 million euros ($519 million) worth of forint liquidity to commercial banks via an extraordinary one-week foreign exchange swap tender on Wednesday to ease a temporary liquidity shortage, the NBH said.

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