Connect with us

Economy

Europe’s Rate-Hike Pioneers Have Market’s Attention Again

mm

Published

on

The Smarter way to get your business news – Subscribe to BloombergQuint on WhatsApp

(Bloomberg) — The Czech Republic is back on investors’ radar as a prime candidate for another increase in interest rates this year.

After watching policy makers in Prague take the lead in Europe’s turn to monetary tightening with three hikes between August and February, derivatives markets swung to skepticism that they will raise borrowing costs again this year. But traders are now piling into bets that another increase will come within six months after an inflation revival in April added to the surprisingly hawkish resolve on display at last week’s policy meeting.

Forward-rate agreements, used to bet on future changes of borrowing costs, now show investors pricing in an increase in the benchmark to 1 percent by November, from the current 0.75 percent.

“The central bank’s more hawkish tone last week and the data showing slightly higher inflation are strengthening investors’ conviction that there will be another rate increase this year,” says Dalimil Vyskovsky, chief fixed-income trader at Komercni Banka AS. “Previously, the market priced in no hike before spring 2019.”

Although the central bank left borrowing costs unchanged for a second meeting on May 3, it said that more tightening is in store this year for the Czech economy, one of Europe’s fastest growing. That should come mainly by way of currency appreciation and possibly also a rate hike near the end of the year, according to the bank’s fresh staff forecast.

Read more on the central bank’s policy deliberations at its meeting in May

The exchange rate plays a key role in the timing and the pace of future rate increases. Czech central bankers want to avoid an excessive widening of the gap with rates in the euro area since that could strengthen the koruna too much after it was already the best performer among major currencies in the past 12 months.

European Central Bank stimulus will also remain a barrier for faster Czech hikes, the monetary authority in Prague said on Friday in minutes of its May 3 policy meeting.

To appreciate how carefully the central bank needs to manage market expectations about its policy outlook, the release of April inflation on Thursday offered a case in point. Aided by the faster-than-forecast price growth, the koruna gained 0.4 percent on Thursday. It was little changed at 25.47 per euro on Friday as of 9:30 a.m. in Prague.

The central bank’s forecast assumes the koruna strengthening to an average 24.6 per euro in the last three months of the year, or nearly 4 percent stronger from current levels.

To contact the reporters on this story: Peter Laca in Prague at placa@bloomberg.net, Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net, Paul Abelsky, Neil Chatterjee

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

The Smarter way to get your business news – Subscribe to BloombergQuint on WhatsApp

. Read more on Global Economics by BloombergQuint.

Viraj Shah likes calling himself the owner here. A trader who likes writing, technical analysis, consulting and has been investing in stocks from past 8+ years. He wants to share his knowledge through Thefinancetime. He has faced a lot of ups and downs but that has not stopped him.. We all call him the PROFESSOR of the TheFinanceTime.

Continue Reading

Trending