Bloomberg News

Forint Retreats From Strongest in 10 Months on Worse German Data

July 31, 2012

The forint slid from its strongest in more than 10 months against the euro after data in Germany, the biggest buyer of Hungarian exports, showed retail sales unexpectedly shrank in June and unemployment rose in July.

The Hungarian currency weakened 0.9 percent to 280.58 per euro by 5:18 p.m. in Budapest, after surging 4.3 percent in the previous four days to the strongest since September.

German unemployment climbed for a fourth month as the euro- area’s debt crisis prompted employers to delay hiring. Retail sales in the country declined for a third month, sliding 0.1 percent in June, in the longest stretch of declines since the end of 2007. The European Union’s most-indebted eastern member is “quite strongly linked” with Germany’s financial indicators, Mihaly Varga, the minister in charge of Hungary’s negotiations for international aid, said in June.

Global optimism may wane as the European Central Bank’s rate-setting meeting approaches and the forint may edge closer to the 280 level per euro, analysts at Budapest-based brokerage Equilor Zrt. said in an e-mailed note today. The ECB will meet in Frankfurt on Aug. 2.

Hungary cut the offer at a Treasury-bill auction today after demand slid. The state sold 35 billion forint ($153 million) of the bills, 10 billion forint less than planned, at an average yield of 6.87 percent as investors’ bids dropped to 51.2 billion forint from 80.5 billion forint on July 24, according to auction results published by the state debt management agency on Bloomberg.

The government in Budapest last week ended the first round of talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and the international lenders are scheduled to return in September for further talks.

To contact the reporters on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net; Edith Balazs in Budapest at ebalazs1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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