Bloomberg News

Forint Extends Weekly Gain on Economic Recovery; Bonds Advance

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The forint extended its weekly gain and Hungarian bonds advanced as retail sales beat estimates and speculation the global economy is strengthening boosted demand for emerging-market assets.

Hungary’s currency appreciated 0.4 percent to 288.42 per euro by 12:26 p.m. in Budapest, extending the appreciation this week to 0.5 percent. The government’s benchmark 10-year bonds climbed, cutting yields nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 8.738 percent.

Retail sales rose 1.5 percent in December compared with a year earlier, exceeding economists’ expectations for 1 percent growth. U.S. home sales probably climbed to a nine-month high, economists said before a Commerce Department report today, a day after data showed jobless claims held at a four-year low.

“The retail sales growth implies that fourth-quarter consumption figures might turn out to have been in positive territory,” Janos Samu, a Budapest-based economist at Concorde Ertekpapir Zrt., wrote in a research report today on the Hungarian data.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Stephen Kirkland

-0- Feb/24/2012 11:56 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Andras Gergely in Budapest at agergely@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net -0- Feb/24/2012 11:19 GMT


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