The Hungarian forint just broke another record, and for the first time in a good while, a positive one. In terms of percentage change, the forint has not risen as much against the euro in a single day since 2 April 2009 as on Friday, according to Portfolio’s research. In terms of numbers, such a huge positive change has never happened with the Hungarian currency.
This turnaround required drastic interest rate hike announcements from the Hungarian National Bank (Magyar Nemzeti Bank, MNB), which partly aimed at unwinding speculative positions that played on the weakening forint and partly triggered the surge in strength, Portfolio reports.
In order to counteract the depreciation pressure on the forint, the MNB raised the overnight covered lending rate from 15.5 percent to 25 percent, making it very expensive to take positions against the forint. The Bank also announced a one-day quick deposit rate of 18 percent. According to the results of this, banks have injected HUF 994.8 billion of liquidity and the MNB has promised to continue to do so daily as long as it succeeds in calming market sentiment, Portfolio writes.
These concerns appeared to have calmed down by Friday afternoon. After a sharp morning surge (the euro temporarily fell from around 428 to 416 forints!), the euro remained stable around 418 forints on Friday evening. Based on Friday’s closing price compared to Thursday’s closing price, the forint was up 11.25 units against the euro, which was an unprecedented one-day gain.
In terms of daily percentage change, the forint has not seen such a big one-day rise since 2 April 2009, when it was 2.7 percent, just like yesterday. Prior to that, there was a 3.06 percent rise on 10 October 2008 and a 3.86 percent rise on 28 October 2008, according to Reuters, during the turbulent first period of the outbreak of the financial crisis.
With this huge advance, the forint is still 48 units weaker than it was at the end of last year, which is a 13 percent fall. In terms of regional currencies, the forint has fallen much more this year than the zloty (4.6 percent) and the Czech koruna, which has managed to strengthen even at much higher interest rates.
Read also456.3 HUF/EUR already a reality at this Hungarian company!
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