BHF Bank top forecaster in November Reuters FX poll

BANGALORE Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:14pm IST

The BHF-Bank sign is pictured in front of its headquarters in Frankfurt September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The BHF-Bank sign is pictured in front of its headquarters in Frankfurt September 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

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BANGALORE (Reuters) - BHF Bank's call that the euro and sterling would not move much but that the yen would weaken last month earned it most accurate forecaster in the November Reuters foreign exchange poll.

In the year-to-date accuracy league, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi held on to its lead, mostly for consistently accurate calls on the euro and sterling. BHF did not rank among the top 50 forecasters so far this year.

In the November poll, BHF's currency strategist Stephan Rieke correctly predicted the euro would end the month near $1.30, one of only eight participants in the poll of 61 who got it right.

Even though the euro gained almost 1 percent in October, nearly half of the forecasters said it would weaken through November on persistent worries over the euro zone debt crisis.

Rieke said he expects the economic situation in the region to slowly improve and says, like many, that Spain is likely to ask for a international sovereign bailout early next year. <ECILT/EU>

Doing so could trigger promised buying of the country's bonds by the European Central Bank and might propel the euro higher. Rieke expects the euro to end the month at $1.30, strengthening to $1.35 in a year. It was just under $1.31 on Wednesday.

That stands in contrast to the majority in the latest Reuters FX survey, published Wednesday, where 48 of 65 strategists forecast it to weaken over the next year. <EUR/POLL>

BHF, which also had top-notch scores on its forecasts for the yen and sterling, expects the yen to weaken to 83 in December and 90 in a year from Wednesday's 82.3.

The consensus from the latest FX poll has a milder fall over the next year, predicting that the yen will strengthen a tad to 81.5 in a month before weakening to 85 in a year.

BHF expects sterling to mirror the euro's performance and hover near current levels to end the year at $1.60 before gaining to $1.62 over the next 12 months from the $1.61 it was trading at on Wednesday.

While BHF's December cable forecast is in line with the consensus in the latest FX survey, the bank is one among only 20 of 64 who are expecting it to gain in a year's time.

(Reporting by Deepti Govind)

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