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United Kingdom

Marton Dunai

Gays in Hungary facing increased government hostility - rights group

3:53pm GMT

BUDAPEST Hungary's gay community is facing increased government "attacks" and fears that its hard-won rights, and an improvement in public acceptance of them, may be at risk, a rights group said.

EU conservatives to extend suspension of Hungary's Fidesz

2:31pm GMT

BUDAPEST/BRUSSELS Hungary's ruling Fidesz party will remain suspended from the European People's Party, the EU's conservative umbrella group, EPP chairman Donald Tusk said on Wednesday, extending a year-long standoff with the populist right-wing party.

CEE MARKETS-China fears hurt stocks, forint poised for profit taking

28 Jan 2020

By Marton Dunai BUDAPEST, Jan 28 Central European stocks weakened in midday session on Tuesday, tracking their western counterparts, as investors remained wary of China's rapidly spreading virus outbreak and its potential economic impact. The move mirrored other emerging market equities, which fell for a fourth straight session and were set for their longest losing streak in four months as the Chinese virus death toll rise. "The news out of China worries all of us," a dealer said in Budapest. "We are so focused on it in fact that we may be overreacting, but it's tough to size up the potential impact correctly." "So we expect cautious pessimism for now. We also have a new milestone in the Brexit process, which does not have to have an immediate impact, but certainly isn't a mood booster. Once some good news comes we may brighten up, too." By 1010 GMT, the Czech index led regional losses with a 1.4% fall, followed by Budapest's with a 0.8% decrease. Bucharest, the region's best performers so far this year, was also sliding, with only Warsaw bucking the trend. Regional currencies moved sideways, with the Hungarian forint unchanged at 337.4 per euro after setting a record low of 338.77 on Monday. The forint eased on Monday despite an announcement from the central bank that it had accepted less than its original offer at a regular forint swap tender, lowering liquidity injections. Analysts say the forint could continue trading between 335 and 338, and that the next big impact could come from the central bank's rate-setting meeting on Tuesday. The bank, considered "incredibly dovish" by some investors, is expected to hold fire again as inflation could retreat from a multi-year high and economic growth could lose steam in coming years, a Reuters poll showed. "I think barring some surprise central bank communication, we are positioned for profit taking," another Budapest dealer said. "That's our baseline scenario." In Romania, the leu was little moved by a finance minister statement that Romania recorded a higher than expected budget deficit of 4.6% of GDP in 2019. The targeted 4.4% was already far above the European Union's 3% ceiling. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1110 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2020 Czech 25.2600 25.2690 +0.04% +0.68% crown Hungary 337.3600 337.3800 +0.01% -1.84% forint Polish 4.2799 4.2781 -0.04% -0.55% zloty Romanian 4.7788 4.7807 +0.04% +0.20% leu Croatian n/a 7.4403 n/a n/a kuna Serbian n/a 117.4800 n/a n/a dinar Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2020 Prague 1115.50 1131.580 -1.42% -0.01% 0 Budapest 43573.19 43929.17 -0.81% -5.45% Warsaw 2087.18 2083.79 +0.16% -2.93% Bucharest 10089.43 10105.37 -0.16% +1.12% Ljubljana 959.66 963.58 -0.41% +3.65% Zagreb 2026.19 2030.38 -0.21% +0.43% Belgrade <.BELEX15 796.04 797.82 -0.22% -0.70% > Sofia 578.51 579.49 -0.17% +1.83% Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=RR 1.7660 0.0380 +240bps +4bps > 5-year <CZ5YT=RR 1.6150 0.0000 +224bps +1bps > 10-year <CZ10YT=R 1.5390 -0.0540 +194bps -4bps R> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=RR 1.5230 0.0140 +216bps +2bps > 5-year <PL5YT=RR 1.8670 -0.0110 +250bps -1bps > 10-year <PL10YT=R 2.2050 -0.0110 +260bps +0bps R> FORWARD 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep < Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim PRIBOR=> e Engine e Engine e Engine e Engine Initiali Initiali Initiali Initiali zation zation zation zation Error Error Error Error Hungary < Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim BUBOR=> e Engine e Engine e Engine e Engine Initiali Initiali Initiali Initiali zation zation zation zation Error Error Error Error Poland < Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim Real-Tim WIBOR=> e Engine e Engine e Engine e Engine Initiali Initiali Initiali Initiali zation zation zation zation Error Error Error Error Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************** ************ (Reporting by Marton Dunai, additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Top Hungarian lawyer accuses PM Orban of harming rule of law

21 Jan 2020

BUDAPEST Hungary's top defense lawyer accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday of undermining the rule of law through his refusal to accept two court decisions that require payouts of state funds.

Pain still acute as Hungary's Jews mark liberation of Budapest ghetto

17 Jan 2020

BUDAPEST Hungarian Jews on Friday marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest ghetto and the end of the Holocaust, which killed more than 500,000 Jews and destroyed a once-vibrant Jewish culture across Hungary.

CEE MARKETS-FX dip, stocks gain amid growth worries and Middle East jitters

10 Jan 2020

By Marton Dunai BUDAPEST, Jan 10 The Hungarian forint led moderate easing in emerging European currencies on Friday as a combination of growth challenges, a slight rise in inflation and a loose monetary policy played on investors minds. The forint shed 0.3% against the euro, followed by a 0.2% dip in the Czech crown and a 0.1% easing of the zloty. Stock markets were up by about a third of a percent regionwide. Dealers said however that trading was lacklustre and real money flows were yet to pick up in early 2020, and Middle East worries over U.S.-Iran tensions eased despite possible evidence of a Ukrainian jetliner shot down near Tehran. "We've seen the main events in Iran, and we've had the first reactions," a Budapest-based dealer said. "The market is in a wait and see position now, and we reckon neither side wants to escalate the conflict for now." Iran wants to handle black box recordings from a Ukrainian airliner that crashed, killing all 176 people aboard, after Canada and others said the plane was brought down by an Iranian missile, probably by mistake. Europe's top diplomats will meet on Friday to assess ways to guide the United States and Iran away from open conflict, knowing that a miscalculation from either side could leave the bloc facing a war and a serious nuclear proliferation crisis at its doorstep. "Iran cannot emerge a winner from this conflict and the U.S. has no interest in whipping up more of a storm either, so we expect no real effect on markets for now," the dealer said. Other factors to influence markets from next week are the impending signing of the U.S.-China trade deal and easing uncertainty over Brexit as Britain enters a transition period after leaving the European Union on Jan. 31. Later in the year most regional currencies are expected to weaken, a Reuters poll showed. The Czech crown's strong run to start 2020 is likely to reverse and the Hungarian forint will creep back toward record lows as economies slow. Markets did not deviate from recent trends. The forint remained firmly within its recent 331-335 EUR/HUF range. The crown remained near its 23-month high. Growth concerns could affect emerging markets this year, including on the eastern flank of Europe, with Hungary betting it would not be able to withstand the slowdown without fiscal stimulus. Prime Minister Viktor Orban flagged a new stimulus package on Thursday, to be detailed next month. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1048 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2020 Czech 25.2580 25.2210 -0.15% +0.69% crown Hungary 333.8000 332.8000 -0.30% -0.80% forint Polish 4.2485 4.2455 -0.07% +0.19% zloty Romanian 4.7785 4.7781 -0.01% +0.21% leu Croatian 7.4420 7.4453 +0.04% +0.05% kuna Serbian 117.5500 117.6200 +0.06% +0.02% dinar Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2020 Prague 1129.48 1126.660 +0.25% +1.24% 0 Budapest 45623.28 45493.15 +0.29% -1.00% Warsaw 2164.90 2157.61 +0.34% +0.69% Bucharest 9952.92 9939.58 +0.13% -0.24% Ljubljana 952.70 949.44 +0.34% +2.90% Zagreb 2029.49 2028.81 +0.03% +0.60% Belgrade <.BELEX15 797.85 800.22 -0.30% -0.48% > Sofia 577.56 577.72 -0.03% +1.66% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=RR 1.8070 0.1190 +240bps +12bps > 5-year <CZ5YT=RR 1.4600 -0.0340 +196bps -4bps > 10-year <CZ10YT=R 1.6540 0.0330 +188bps +4bps R> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=RR 1.5260 -0.0270 +212bps -2bps > 5-year <PL5YT=RR 1.9400 -0.0050 +244bps -1bps > 10-year <PL10YT=R 2.2580 -0.0160 +248bps -1bps R> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep < 2.25 2.26 2.25 2.17 PRIBOR=> Hungary < 0.25 0.33 0.42 0.16 BUBOR=> Poland < 1.75 1.75 1.78 1.71 WIBOR=> Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************** ************ (Reporting by Marton Dunai Editing by Mark Heinrich)

East European mayors urge EU to bypass governments in disbursing funds

16 Dec 2019

BUDAPEST The European Union should bypass national governments that flout democratic standards and deal directly with municipalities as they can perform "miracles" in areas such as climate change, the mayors of four eastern European capital cities said on Monday.

Hungary lists conditions, 'won't sign blank cheque' on EU climate deal

12 Dec 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary's government said on Thursday it had some conditions before it could back a new EU climate commitment, including a demand that the bloc recognize that nuclear power will help in the fight against climate change.

Hungary lists conditions, 'won't sign blank cheque' on EU climate deal

12 Dec 2019

BUDAPEST Hungary's government said on Thursday it had some conditions before it could back a new EU climate commitment, including a demand that the bloc recognise that nuclear power will help in the fight against climate change.

UPDATE 1-Hungary lists conditions, 'won't sign blank cheque' on EU climate deal

12 Dec 2019

BUDAPEST, Dec 12 Hungary's government said on Thursday it had some conditions before it could back a new EU climate commitment, including a demand that the bloc recognise that nuclear power will help in the fight against climate change.

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