Reuters logo
CEE MARKETS-Forint firms as PMI jumps, labour shortage cuts Czech PMI
June 1, 2017 / 9:50 AM / 6 months ago

CEE MARKETS-Forint firms as PMI jumps, labour shortage cuts Czech PMI

    * Hungary reports record manufacturing PMI at 62.1, forint
    * Polish, Czech PMIs lower than forecast, still show growth
    * Czech crown retreats from 3-and-1/2-year high vs euro
    * Lower-than-expected Czech PMI points to labour

    By Sandor Peto
    BUDAPEST, June 1 (Reuters) - The forint strengthened on
Thursday after Hungary's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) jumped
to a record high in May, underpinning that strong manufacturing
growth continues in Central Europe.
    The index, at 62.1, was well above the 50-point mark which
separates contraction and expansion.
    The Czech and Polish indices, at 56.4 and 52.7, were below
expectations but also indicated growth. The PMI data came on the
heels of strong first-quarter economic growth data, which showed
the emerging eastern economies of the EU outperformed the growth
of western peers.
    The forint firmed 0.3 percent to 307.35 against
the euro by 0817 GMT, while the zloty gained 0.1
percent, to trade at 4.1813.
    The stocks of Hungary's biggest lender, OTP rose
by 1.1 percent, lifting Budapest's main index, while most
other indices in the region dropped. 
    Hungarian government bonds moved sideways, with market
interest rates at the short end of the curve hovering near
record lows, one Budapest-based trader said.
    While PMI data help the forint, the debt market usually
ignores them as the Hungarian central bank is expected to keep
interest rates low for years anyway.
    "There is no chance for monetary policy tightening at all,"
the trader said.
    Polish rate setters have also indicated that they are
unlikely to start to reverse years of monetary easing this year,
as a pick-up in economic growth leaves inflation moderate.

    Wednesday's Polish data, which showed strong first-quarter
growth and lower-than-expected May inflation, underpinned
optimism over the economy which the PMI figures did nothing to
    "The main index is a little bit lower, but it is still
relatively high and points to an increase in activity," said
Adam Antoniak, senior economist at Bank Pekao.
    The Czech index, the weakest since January, failed to boost
the crown. It eased 0.1 percent against the euro, drifting off
3-and-1/2-year highs hit at 26.335 on Wednesday, disappointing
investors sitting on a huge pile of crowns
    They bought crowns worth tens of billions of euros before
the Czech central bank (CNB) removed a cap which had kept the
crown weaker than 27 versus the euro.
    Weaker crown levels increase the odds of a CNB interest rate
hike later this year.
    Analysts said the figures still showed solid growth, while 
pointing to Central Europe's increasingly painful labour
    Czech unemployment is the lowest in the European Union. Many
firms complain that the labour shortage holds back growth.
Probably that impact pushed the PMI lower, said Komercni Banka
analyst Viktor Zeisel.
    "We expect that it is the worse availability of labour
resulting in the necessity to raise wages," he said.
                CEE MARKETS  SNAPSH   AT  1017 CET         
                             Latest  Previo  Daily   Change
                             bid     close   change  in
 Czech crown                 26.380  26.362  -0.07%   2.38%
                                  0       5          
 Hungary                     307.35  308.27   +0.30   0.48%
 forint                          00      50       %  
 Polish zloty                4.1813  4.1845   +0.08   5.32%
 Romanian leu                4.5665  4.5676   +0.02  -0.69%
 Croatian kuna               7.4130  7.4155   +0.03   1.92%
 Serbian dinar               122.28  122.40   +0.10   0.88%
                                 00      00       %  
 Note: daily    calculated   previo  close   1800          
 change         from         us      at      CET     
                             Latest  Previo  Daily   Change
                                     close   change  in
 Prague                      1001.4  1002.3  -0.09%   +8.66
                                  5       8               %
 Budapest                    34793.  34551.   +0.70   +8.72
                                 54      90       %       %
 Warsaw                      2277.5  2281.1  -0.16%   +16.9
                                  3       8              2%
 Bucharest                   8769.4  8688.5   +0.93   +23.7
                                  1       0       %      7%
 Ljubljana                   787.28  797.89  -1.33%   +9.71
 Zagreb                      1852.2  1864.1  -0.64%  -7.15%
                                  1       7          
 Belgrade                    724.11  725.85  -0.24%   +0.94
 Sofia                       662.52  661.23   +0.20   +12.9
                                                  %      8%
                             Yield   Yield   Spread  Daily
                             (bid)   change  vs      change
                                             Bund    in
 Czech                                               spread
   2-year                    -0.156       0   +056b   +0bps
   5-year                    -0.143   0.045   +029b   +5bps
   10-year                    0.669  -0.036   +036b   -4bps
   2-year                     1.927   0.003   +264b   +0bps
   5-year                     2.664       0   +310b   +0bps
   10-year                    3.249   0.029   +294b   +2bps
                FORWARD      RATE    AGREEMENT             
                             3x6     6x9     9x12    3M
 Czech Rep              <PR    0.34    0.41    0.48       0
 Hungary                <BU    0.19    0.23    0.29    0.15
 Poland                 <WI    1.77   1.775    1.82    1.73
 Note: FRA      are for ask                                
 quotes         prices                               
 (Additional reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague and Anna Koper
in Warsaw; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below