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United Kingdom

Robert Muller

Reality check: Dip in growth has Czechs pinching pennies after splurge

15 Apr 2019

PRAGUE A year after embarking on a record spending splurge, the Czech Republic, one of the European Union's star fiscal performers, is falling back into deficit and has started tightening its belt to prevent an economic slowdown from wrecking its budget.

Late Alonso header, Kepa saves hand Chelsea win in Prague

11 Apr 2019

PRAGUE A late header by defender Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga's goalkeeping heroics helped Chelsea beat a stubborn Slavia Prague 1-0 in their Europa League quarter-final, first leg on Thursday.

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Late Alonso header, Kepa saves hand Chelsea win in Prague

11 Apr 2019

PRAGUE, April 11 A late header by defender Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga's goalkeeping heroics helped Chelsea beat a stubborn Slavia Prague 1-0 in their Europa League quarter-final, first leg on Thursday.

CEE MARKETS-Forint, Hungarian bonds ease ahead of CPI data, auction

08 Apr 2019

* Czech and Hungarian trade surpluses bigger than expected * Forint eases ahead of expected CPI rise, bond auctions * Crown seen firming, U.S.-EU trade war is a risk -analyst (Adds Hungarian bond yields rise, new analyst comments) By Sandor Peto and Robert Muller BUDAPEST/PRAGUE, April 8 The forint hit a 12-week-low against the zloty and Hungarian government bond prices fell on Monday, underperforming Central European peers, amid expectations for a further rise in inflation in Hungary. The dollar-based MSCI emerging market currency index shed 0.1 percent by 1306 GMT while emerging market shares were subdued after a rally last week. The forint eased while the zloty, gained 0.1 percent against the euro. Trading at 321.44 against the euro, the forint approached the lows of 322.63 set last week, after a plunge since the National Bank of Hungary's "dovish rate hike" on March 26. The bank increased its two-week deposit rate, which is not its main rate, but dropped its guidance for gradual policy tightening, saying policy would be driven by economic data. Hungary reported a higher than expected trade surplus for February on Monday, but the figures failed to support the forint. It crossed a key line at 75 against the zloty for the first time since the middle of January. While Polish inflation runs near the bottom of the central bank's 1.5-3.5 percent target range, Hungary is expected to report a rise to 3.5 percent in March, further above the midpoint of the central bank's 2-4 percent target. Hungarian government bond yields rose by 6-7 basis points, with the 10-year paper trading at 3.1 percent, while its Polish peer dropped 1 basis point to 2.905 percent. "The (Hungarian) government debt yield curve is deep below inflation, so I can understand if some people say that they no longer want it," one Budapest-based trader said. After a sharp decline in yields last month, positioning ahead of Thursday's bond auctions is also driving yields higher, the trader said. The Czech Republic also released a higher-than-expected trade surplus figure. The crown tested 3-week highs, trading at 25.61 versus the euro. Analysts in a Reuters poll last week projected a 2 percent firming of the crown in the next 12 months, the only meaningful currency gain seen in the region. "The outlook... could potentially improve over the 12 months, should the pace of economic activity in the Eurozone gain greater momentum, with focus on potential measures the ECB could implement to reignite growth," said Piotr Matys, emerging markets forex strategist at Rabobank. Demand-led inflation pressure should keep the Czech central bank in favour of gradually normalising its accommodative monetary policy, but a trade war between the United States and the EU is a risk, he added. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1506 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.6100 25.6470 +0.14% +0.38% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 321.4400 321.3000 -0.04% -0.11% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2873 4.2928 +0.13% +0.05% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7510 4.7530 +0.04% -2.04% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4370 7.4225 -0.19% -0.36% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.7800 117.9300 +0.13% +0.44% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1084.85 1086.090 -0.11% +9.96% 0 Budapest 41874.65 41841.92 +0.08% +6.99% Warsaw 2353.23 2351.08 +0.09% +3.36% Bucharest 8254.38 8202.21 +0.64% +11.79% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 873.26 873.05 +0.02% +8.58% > Zagreb 1792.24 1792.29 -0.00% +2.48% Belgrade <.BELEX1 732.88 733.73 -0.12% -3.78% 5> Sofia 581.62 580.19 +0.25% -2.16% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.8460 -0.0280 +242bps -2bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7430 0.0080 +218bps +1bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8600 0.0000 +185bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6670 -0.1110 +224bps -10bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2510 -0.0010 +269bps +0bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.9210 -0.0100 +292bps -1bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.15 2.19 2.19 2.02 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.31 0.45 0.60 0.16 Poland 1.74 1.74 1.74 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto Editing by David Goodman)

CEE MARKETS-Forint hits 12-week-low vs zloty despite trade surplus

08 Apr 2019

* Czech and and Hungarian trade suprluses bigger than expected * Forint eases ahead of expected rise in annual inflation * Bucharest stocks buck CEE trend, touch four-month high By Sandor Peto and Robert Muller BUDAPEST/PRAGUE, April 8 The forint hit a 12-week-low against the zloty on Monday against the backdrop of gloomier sentiment towards emerging markets and expectations for a further rise to inflation in Hungary. The dollar-based MSCI emerging market currency index shed a quarter of a percentage point by 0907 GMT while emerging market shares were subdued after a rally last week. The forint eased while its main Central European peer, the Polish zloty, gained 0.1 percent against the euro. Trading at 321.59 against the euro, the forint approached the lows of 322.63 set last week, after a plunge since the National Bank of Hungary's "dovish rate hike" on March 26. The bank increased its two-week deposit rate, which is not its main rate, but dropped its guidance for gradual policy tightening, saying policy would be driven by economic data. Hungary reported a higher than expected trade surplus for February on Monday, but the figures failed to support the forint. It weakened beyond a key psychological line at 75 against the zloty for the first time since the middle of January. "The Polish central bank (last week) said that they would keep interest rates unchanged ... while there will be no rate increase in Hungary," one Budapest-based dealer said. While Polish inflation runs near the bottom of the central bank's 1.5-3.5 percent target range, Hungary is expected to report a rise to 3.4 percent in March, further above the midpoint of the central bank's 2-4 percent target. Hungary's monthly trade figures have become volatile in the past year, with surging consumption boosting imports, while demand for its goods in the euro zone has become more fragile. After some decline in Hungary's trade surplus this year it could rise again from next year, partly because of new capacities in the automotive industry, and make the economy a net lender by next year, Takarekbank analysts said in a note. "These trends can lend sustained support to the forint," they said. The Czech Republic also released a higher than expected February trade surplus figure on Monday and a 1.5 percent annual rise in industrial output. Foreign demand could rebound in the second half of 2019, while slowing wage growth and more household savings could put a lid on imports, said Komercni Banka analyst Monika Junicke. Erste analysts said they still expect the Czech central bank to increase interest rates further in August, or in May if the international environment improves. Regional equities markets were steady or slightly lower, but Bucharest's main index was driven to four-month highs, led by a continued recovery in the shares of Banca Transilvania . CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1107 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.6420 25.6470 +0.02% +0.25% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 321.5900 321.3000 -0.09% -0.16% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2895 4.2928 +0.08% +0.00% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7510 4.7530 +0.04% -2.04% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4370 7.4225 -0.19% -0.36% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.7800 117.9300 +0.13% +0.44% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1083.47 1086.090 -0.24% +9.82% 0 Budapest 41749.52 41841.92 -0.22% +6.67% Warsaw 2353.17 2351.08 +0.09% +3.36% Bucharest 8253.02 8202.21 +0.62% +11.77% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 871.73 873.05 -0.15% +8.39% > Zagreb 1793.56 1792.29 +0.07% +2.56% Belgrade <.BELEX1 733.62 733.73 -0.01% -3.69% 5> Sofia 578.24 580.19 -0.34% -2.73% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.8460 -0.0280 +242bps -2bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7670 0.0320 +221bps +3bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8600 0.0000 +186bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6750 -0.1030 +225bps -9bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2550 0.0030 +270bps +0bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.9190 -0.0120 +291bps -1bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.15 2.19 2.19 2.02 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.33 0.45 0.59 0.16 Poland 1.75 1.74 1.74 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto Editing by David Goodman )

Football - Jesus double leads Brazil to 3-1 win over Czechs

27 Mar 2019

PRAGUE Substitute Gabriel Jesus struck two late goals to help Brazil come from behind to beat the Czech Republic 3-1 on Tuesday in their final warm-up ahead of June's Copa America tournament.

Soccer: Jesus double leads Brazil to 3-1 win over Czechs

26 Mar 2019

PRAGUE Brazil's Gabriel Jesus struck two late goals to secure a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday in their final warm-up ahead of the Copa America tournament in June.

Soccer-Jesus double leads Brazil to 3-1 win over Czechs

26 Mar 2019

PRAGUE, March 26 Brazil's Gabriel Jesus struck two late goals to secure a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday in their final warm-up ahead of the Copa America tournament in June.

Czech central banker Holub sees 1-2 rate hikes as most likely in 2019

05 Mar 2019

PRAGUE, March 5 The Czech National Bank may raise interest rates once or twice this year, although a disorderly Brexit may postpone the next move, board member Tomas Holub said.

UPDATE 1-Czech PM outlines nuclear expansion with state control over construction

21 Feb 2019

PRAGUE, Feb 21 Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Thursday outlined the government's plan to build a number of nuclear reactors, saying the state should control construction so it can halt the expansion should power prices fail to support the project.

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