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Krisztina Than

Hungarian village's last bell ringer toils on as youth flee to cities

17 Oct 2019

TERENY, Hungary Ilona Petras' family has been in charge of ringing the bells of the 600-year-old Catholic church in the small village of Tereny in the northeast of Hungary for over a hundred years.

Poland's nationalists seal election majority, lose Senate

14 Oct 2019

WARSAW Poland's nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party narrowly won a second term in power, final results from Sunday's parliamentary election showed, but its drive to push through its conservative agenda may be hampered by a loss of the upper house. | Video

Hungary urges EU dialogue with Turkey to prevent new wave of migrants

10 Oct 2019

BUDAPEST The European Union should have a dialogue with Turkey despite Ankara's offensive on Kurdish-led forces in Syria, in order to avoid a fresh wave of migrants coming to Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday.

Investments, household consumption to drive Hungarian economy: minister

01 Oct 2019

BUDAPEST Investments and robust household consumption are expected to drive Hungary's economy next year, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said on Tuesday.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies gain; crown supported by hawkish central bank

26 Sep 2019

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST, Sept 26 Central European currencies gained Thursday as global sentiment improved, with the Czech crown supported by a hawkish central bank message on Wednesday that revived expectations interest rates would rise. The crown touched a five-and-a-half week high in early trading and was 0.1% higher at 0811 GMT. The Czech central bank voted 5-2 to leave its two-week repo rate at 2.00%, with dissenters backing a 25-basis- point increase. Governor Jiri Rusnok said the board was likely to return to the debate at its next meeting, in November. "The press conference (was) very hawkish – 2 votes for a hike. Not that shocking, probably, but the governor was saying that the debate about a hike was very balanced as inflationary risks to forecast seem to be prevailing," said Dalimil Vyskovsky, head of fixed income at Komercni Banka. Czech rate markets moved up 8 to 10 basis points. "Still, we have one rate cut priced in, in the 1Y horizon, which might prove too much," Vyskovsky said, adding that "odds for a hike in November have risen considerably." The Hungarian forint gained in early trade, then fell to 334.40 by 0834 GMT. The Hungarian central bank projected lower inflation and an economic slowdown and shifted to a more dovish stance on Tuesday, when it left its interest rates at the lowest in Central Europe. The forint slumped to a record low of 336.10 to the euro on Tuesday before the central bank meeting. On Thursday the bank released details of its quarterly inflation report, trimming its tax-adjusted core inflation forecasts and saying the country's current account had swung into a deficit in 2018 and would remain in a deficit at least until 2021, based on its current assumptions. "I think in the morning currencies firmed probably on the ... more positive news regarding the US-China trade war. This is what we can expect now: a bit of firming, and then buyers stepping in and the forint easing again," a dealer said in Budapest. She said the forint could trade between 333 and 336 in the next few days, then weaken past 336 and ease further. Stock markets across the region rose. Prague, Warsaw and Budapest were all trading about 0.4% higher amid cautious optimism over conciliatory comments on trade from China's commerce ministry. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKE 1011 CET TS CURRENCIES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 EURCZK= Czech <EURC 25.7610 25.7775 +0.06 -0.21% crown ZK=> % EURHUF= Hungary <EURH 333.9000 334.3800 +0.14 -3.84% forint UF=> % EURPLN= Polish <EURP 4.3770 4.3822 +0.12 -2.00% zloty LN=> % EURRON= Romanian <EURR 4.7460 4.7473 +0.03 -1.94% leu ON=> % EURHRK= Croatian <EURH 7.4050 7.4053 +0.00 +0.07% kuna RK=> % EURRSD= Serbian <EURR 117.3900 117.5200 +0.11 +0.78% dinar SD=> % Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1035.75 1031.060 +0.45 +4.99% 0 % .BUX Budapest <.BUX 40712.44 40553.92 +0.39 +4.02% > % .WIG20 Warsaw <.WIG 2167.37 2159.68 +0.36 -4.80% 20> % .BETI Bucharest <.BET 9517.54 9502.48 +0.16 +28.90 I> % % .SBITOP Ljubljana <.SBI 854.46 857.05 -0.30% +6.24% TOP> .CRBEX Zagreb <.CRB 1939.58 1934.67 +0.25 +10.91 EX> % % .BELEX1 Belgrade <.BEL 753.50 753.22 +0.04 -1.08% 5 EX15> % .SOFIX Sofia <.SOF 570.26 573.64 -0.59% -4.07% IX> BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs change Bund in Czech spread Republic CZ2YT=R 2-year <CZ2Y 1.3320 0.0140 +206b +2bps R T=RR> ps CZ5YT=R 5-year <CZ5Y 1.0910 -0.0080 +188b +0bps R T=RR> ps CZ10YT= 10-year <CZ10 1.3270 0.0060 +191b +0bps RR YT=RR ps > Poland PL2YT=R 2-year <PL2Y 1.4800 -0.0080 +221b +0bps R T=RR> ps PL5YT=R 5-year <PL5Y 1.8040 -0.0040 +259b +1bps R T=RR> ps PL10YT= 10-year <PL10 2.0270 -0.0130 +261b -2bps RR YT=RR ps > FORWA RATE AGREEMEN RD T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech Rep <CZKF 2.16 2.09 2.10 2.14 RA><P RIBOR => Hungary <HUFF 0.26 0.29 0.32 0.21 RA><B UBOR= > Poland <PLNF 1.73 1.68 1.65 1.72 RA><W IBOR= > Note: FRA are for ask quotes prices (Additional reporting by Jason Hovet and Robert Muller in Prague, Editing by)

CEE MARKETS-Forint loses ground after central bank's dovish turn

25 Sep 2019

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST, Sept 25 The Hungarian forint resumed its downward trend on Wednesday, after the central bank projected lower inflation and an economic slowdown and shifted to a more dovish stance. Czech rate setters will hold a policy meeting on Wednesday, where they are expected to keep main interest rates on hold despite the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy easing. The forint bounced back from a record low against the euro on Tuesday after the central bank kept interest rates at the lowest level in Central Europe, shrugging off the slide in the currency. The bank even announced a moderate liquidity adjustment for the fourth quarter of 2019, which analysts said amounted to a mild loosening. "This suggests further forint weakening but for the time being, the 'buy on the rumour sell on the news' sentiment could work," Erste analysts said in a note. They said on a technical basis, there was room for further short-term gains but "the forint is and could remain on an easing path". Some other analysts said the forint, which slumped to an all-time low of 336.10 to the euro on Tuesday before the central bank meeting, could recover on solid economic fundamentals. "In addition, the dovish ECB and U.S. Fed should support CEE currencies going forward," Raiffeisen said in a note. The Hungarian central bank said downward inflation risks have strengthened further as the euro zone economy slows. By 0807 GMT, the forint was down 0.1% at 334.44 against the euro, off its all-time low, but weaker than 333.57 hit after the central bank's meeting on Tuesday. The Polish zloty and the Czech crown lost 0.1% each. The Czech National Bank (CNB) is likely to hold interest rates unchanged through 2020 as it balances inflationary pressures at home with policy easing and economic weakness abroad, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Czech forward rates have stayed stable this month after having scaled back previous rate-cut expectations. The market still prices in a rate cut by the middle of 2020 Stock markets across the region headed south, with Prague , Warsaw and Budapest all trading about 1% lower at 0840 GMT, amid a worse international sentiment on trade war jitters. CEE SNAPSHO AT MARKETS T 1007 CET CURRENC IES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2019 EURCZK Czech <EURCZK 25.8860 25.8600 -0.10% -0.69% = crown => EURHUF Hungary <EURHUF 334.440 334.200 -0.07% -3.99% = forint => 0 0 EURPLN Polish <EURPLN 4.3829 4.3790 -0.09% -2.13% = zloty => EURRON Romanian <EURRON 4.7490 4.7490 +0.00% -2.00% = leu => EURHRK Croatian <EURHRK 7.4080 7.4035 -0.06% +0.03% = kuna => EURRSD Serbian <EURRSD 117.370 117.605 +0.20% +0.79% = dinar => 0 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1037.45 1047.57 -0.97% +5.16% 00 .BUX Budapest 40545.4 40848.0 -0.74% +3.59% 8 4 .WIG20 Warsaw <.WIG20 2153.89 2175.24 -0.98% -5.39% > .BETI Buchares 9490.97 9483.43 +0.08% +28.54 t % .SBITO Ljubljan <.SBITO 856.63 858.09 -0.17% +6.51% P a P> .CRBEX Zagreb <.CRBEX 1924.48 1923.06 +0.07% +10.05 > % .BELEX Belgrade <.BELEX 752.96 753.45 -0.07% -1.15% 15 15> .SOFIX Sofia <.SOFIX 570.40 572.20 -0.31% -4.05% > BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic CZ2YT= 2-year <CZ2YT= 1.3570 0.0020 +208bp +1bps RR RR> s CZ5YT= 5-year <CZ5YT= 1.0890 -0.0660 +188bp -6bps RR RR> s CZ10YT <CZ10YT 1.3240 -0.0090 +194bp +0bps =RR 10-year =RR> s Poland PL2YT= 2-year <PL2YT= 1.4820 0.0040 +220bp +1bps RR RR> s PL5YT= 5-year <PL5YT= 1.7980 -0.0230 +258bp -2bps RR RR> s PL10YT <PL10YT 2.0390 -0.0110 +265bp +0bps =RR 10-year =RR> s FORWARD RATE AGREEME NT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech <CZKFRA 2.16 2.09 1.95 2.14 Rep ><PRIBO R=> Hungary <HUFFRA 0.28 0.27 0.37 0.21 ><BUBOR => Poland <PLNFRA 1.72 1.70 1.66 1.72 ><WIBOR => Note: are for ask FRA prices quotes (Reporting by Krisztina Than in Budapest and Jason Hovet in Prague, Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Hungary central bank expected to keep rates on hold, shrug off weak forint: Reuters poll

19 Sep 2019

BUDAPEST The National Bank of Hungary is expected to keep interest rates unchanged next Tuesday and stick to its dovish stance, ignoring the weak forint which hit a record low versus the euro earlier this week, a Reuters poll of analysts showed.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies, stocks weaken on geopolitical jitters

17 Sep 2019

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST, Sept 17 Central European currencies and stocks fell on Tuesday amid geopolitical concerns raised by attacks on Saudi oil facilities, with Hungary's forint reaching a record 333.53 against the euro. By 0917 GMT, the forint, which has underperformed its peers in the region this year by easing 3.7%, was down about 0.4%. Other regional currencies were trading 0.1 to 0.2% lower. "This weakening today is probably due to the renewed tensions between the United States and Iran, which has soured investor sentiment," a dealer in Budapest said. The forint was in a weakening trend, she said, and could test its all-time low soon, since the Hungarian central bank was not expected to change its dovish stance at next week's meeting. "The historical low of 333.45 is the only significant resistance for the forint ... should the currency ease past this level, that could bring about further sudden losses," Erste analysts said in a note. On Monday, Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, told Reuters the government had no exchange rate target, but the current rate "posed no threat to the success of Hungarian economic policy." The central bank has so far not commented on the forint's easing, also saying it had no exchange rate target. The bank holds its next policy meeting on Sept. 24 when it will publish its fresh inflation forecasts. Investors will watch the bank's comments on whether it expects the weaker forint to boost inflation in the longer run. Unlike with the European Central Bank, which cut rates and began a new stimulus programme last week, monetary policy-makers in central Europe remain noncommittal. Investors are waiting for a Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday, which is a widely expected cut to interest rates. Most analysts doubt the region's central banks will follow global central banks' footsteps anytime soon. Czech central bankers Marek Mora and Oldrich Dedek both told Reuters this week rate they expect rates to remain stable, since the Czech economy remains resilient in the face of slowdowns abroad. The Czech central bank's monetary department chief, Petr Kral, said in a blog post on Tuesday that the bank could raise interest rates once more in the near future if its baseline economic forecast scenario is met. CEE SNAPSHO AT MARKETS T 1044 CET CURRENC IES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2019 EURCZK Czech <EURCZK 25.8880 25.8490 -0.15% -0.70% = crown => EURHUF Hungary <EURHUF 333.240 332.100 -0.34% -3.65% = forint => 0 0 EURPLN Polish <EURPLN 4.3370 4.3280 -0.21% -1.09% = zloty => EURRON Romanian <EURRON 4.7360 4.7341 -0.04% -1.73% = leu => EURHRK Croatian <EURHRK 7.3930 7.3943 +0.02% +0.23% = kuna => EURRSD Serbian <EURRSD 117.490 117.600 +0.09% +0.69% = dinar => 0 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1058.06 1060.83 -0.26% +7.25% 00 .BUX Budapest 40575.8 40819.5 -0.60% +3.67% 6 6 .WIG20 Warsaw <.WIG20 2201.23 2217.84 -0.75% -3.31% > .BETI Buchares 9281.32 9289.26 -0.09% +25.70 t % .SBITO Ljubljan <.SBITO 854.97 858.87 -0.45% +6.31% P a P> .CRBEX Zagreb <.CRBEX 1892.96 1895.07 -0.11% +8.24% > .BELEX Belgrade <.BELEX 762.16 757.47 +0.62% +0.06% 15 15> .SOFIX Sofia <.SOFIX 579.70 580.02 -0.06% -2.48% > BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic CZ2YT= 2-year <CZ2YT= 1.3350 -0.0470 +204bp -5bps RR RR> s CZ5YT= 5-year <CZ5YT= 1.1040 -0.0740 +185bp -7bps RR RR> s CZ10YT <CZ10YT 1.4040 -0.0220 +190bp -1bps =RR 10-year =RR> s Poland PL2YT= 2-year <PL2YT= 1.5220 -0.0140 +223bp -2bps RR RR> s PL5YT= 5-year <PL5YT= 1.8890 0.0080 +263bp +2bps RR RR> s PL10YT <PL10YT 2.1350 0.0090 +263bp +3bps =RR 10-year =RR> s FORWARD RATE AGREEME NT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech <CZKFRA 2.16 2.09 1.98 2.14 Rep ><PRIBO R=> Hungary <HUFFRA 0.27 0.33 0.32 0.21 ><BUBOR => Poland <PLNFRA 1.73 1.73 1.72 1.72 ><WIBOR => Note: are for ask FRA prices quotes (Reporting by Robert Muller in Prague, Krisztina Than in Budapest; editing by Larry King)

Interview: Hungary sees no solitary veto of new Brexit delay -PM aide

16 Sep 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary on its own will not veto a new delay to Britain's departure from the European Union, a top minister said on Monday, adding that a disorderly Brexit would dent Hungary's strong economic growth.

Hungary sees no solitary veto of new Brexit delay: PM aide

16 Sep 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary on its own will not veto a new delay to Britain's departure from the European Union, a top minister said on Monday, adding that a disorderly Brexit would dent Hungary's strong economic growth.

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