CEE MARKETS-Forint extends losses, rising greenback drags down CEE FX

    By Radu-Sorin Marinas and Anita Komuves
    BUCHAREST/BUDAPEST, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Central European
currencies softened on Thursday, with Hungary's forint and the
Czech crown leading losses, mirroring other emerging currencies
pushed lower by a strengthening U.S. dollar and dogged by the
economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
    On a rollercoaster ride since Wednesday, the forint
 traded 0.3% down at 338.2 at 1020 GMT, extending
losses from the last session. 
    Boosted last week by a surprise hawkish message from the
Hungarian central bank, the forint opened at around 334 on
Wednesday before diving to 337. 
    The National Bank of Hungary on Wednesday expressed to local
banks its uneasiness with the pace of increase in BUBOR
interbank rates, two market sources told Reuters.

    However, the NBH told Reuters it did not currently see
"moves in BUBOR quotations that would be unwarranted by market
developments", and that the meeting was part of regular
consultations with local banks about interbank rates.
    A Budapest dealer said the forint weakened as a direct
consequence of the NBH's message, adding that the currency
falling back to its record low of 340 in the near future could
not be ruled out.
    "The central bank is watching and micro-managing two things
at the same time: trying to ensure the forint does not weaken to
340 right now and interbank rates don't shoot up," the dealer
    Reacting to the NBH's hawkish turn, the three-month BUBOR
rate has risen about 20 basis points in Hungary since last week.
On Thursday, it was quoted at 0.60%.
    The NBH will hold its next rate-setting meeting on Feb. 25
but any policy tweak is likely to come only in March, when the
bank will discuss its fresh inflation forecasts and publish its
inflation report.
    A Reuters poll of analysts showed the bank was expected to
leave interest rates unchanged next Tuesday.
    Hungary auctioned 12-month treasury bills on Thursday, where
the average yield jumped to 0.51% from 0.19% two weeks ago.

    The Czech crown has retreated past the
psychological 25/euro level, trading 0.15% down at 25.002,
followed by the Polish zloty and the Romanian leu
 with a 0.1% fall each.
    In Romania, the finance ministry plans to sell 600 million
lei ($135.51 million) of September 2023 treasury bonds at tender
and an additional 300 million lei of 364-day paper.

            CEE        SNAPSHOT   AT                      
            MARKETS              1120 CET           
                       Latest    Previous  Daily    Change
                       bid       close     change   in
 Czech                  24.9950   24.9710   -0.10%   +1.75
 crown                                                   %
 Hungary               338.2500  337.1800   -0.32%  -2.10%
 Polish                  4.2759    4.2711   -0.11%  -0.46%
 Romanian                4.7825    4.7790   -0.07%   +0.12
 leu                                                     %
 Croatian              Real-Tim    7.4455    N.A.    N.A.
 kuna                  e Engine                     
 Serbian               Real-Tim  117.5500   N.A.     N.A.
 dinar                 e Engine                     
 Note:      calculated from                1800           
 daily                                     CET      
                       Latest    Previous  Daily    Change
                                 close     change   in
 Prague                 1103.84  1104.210   -0.03%  -1.06%
 Budapest              45989.87  46182.09   -0.42%  -0.20%
 Warsaw                 2114.39   2115.18   -0.04%  -1.66%
 Bucharest             10173.70  10204.97   -0.31%   +1.97
 Ljubljana               984.54    983.78   +0.08%   +6.34
 Zagreb                 2025.36   2029.53   -0.21%   +0.39
 Belgrade   <.BELEX15    791.31    817.64   -3.22%  -1.29%
 Sofia                   547.97    548.91   -0.17%  -3.55%
                       Yield     Yield     Spread   Daily
                       (bid)     change    vs Bund  change
 Czech                                              spread
   2-year   <CZ2YT=RR    1.7700   -0.0100   +241bp   -1bps
            >                                    s  
   5-year   <CZ5YT=RR    1.6110   -0.0780   +223bp   -8bps
            >                                    s  
   10-year  <CZ10YT=R    1.6030    0.0330   +202bp   +4bps
            R>                                   s  
   2-year   <PL2YT=RR    1.5580   -0.0020   +220bp   +0bps
            >                                    s  
   5-year   <PL5YT=RR    1.8200    0.0010   +244bp   +0bps
            >                                    s  
   10-year  <PL10YT=R    2.1370   -0.0110   +256bp   -1bps
            R>                                   s  
                       3x6       6x9       9x12     3M
 Czech Rep          <  Real-Tim  Real-Tim  Real-Ti  Real-T
            PRIBOR=>   e Engine  e Engine  me       ime
                       Initiali  Initiali  Engine   Engine
                       zation    zation    Initial  Initia
                       Error     Error     ization  lizati
                                           Error    on
 Hungary            <  Real-Tim  Real-Tim  Real-Ti  Real-T
            BUBOR=>    e Engine  e Engine  me       ime
                       Initiali  Initiali  Engine   Engine
                       zation    zation    Initial  Initia
                       Error     Error     ization  lizati
                                           Error    on
 Poland             <  Real-Tim  Real-Tim  Real-Ti  Real-T
            WIBOR=>    e Engine  e Engine  me       ime
                       Initiali  Initiali  Engine   Engine
                       zation    zation    Initial  Initia
                       Error     Error     ization  lizati
                                           Error    on
 Note: FRA  are for ask prices                            
 (Reporting by Krisztina Than and Radu Marinas; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M.)

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