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Crown jumps again

The Slovak crown strengthened again yesterday, to 41.17 against its euro reference currency, on news the Peugeot automaker had chosen Slovakia as the site of a 700 million euro factory investment.

The 41.17 level was only 10 basis points from the crown's record strength against the euro. Money market dealers said they expected the local currency to break the 41 level in the near future.

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, a data collation mistake by the state Statistics Office saw official foreign trade figures for the first 11 months of 2002 revised from a 94 billion Czech crown deficit to a shortfall of only 55 billion. The news booted the Czech crown 45 basis points stronger against the euro, although raising doubt among analysts as to the credibility of other macroeconomic data.

In Hungary, too, the forint has strengthened rapidly because state interest rates offer interesting profits for speculators. The Hungarian central bank has spent an estimated 4.5 billion euros defending the forint against further rises, nine times what the Slovak central bank spent protecting the crown in November 2002, but dealers said they expected renewed assaults on the currency in the coming days.

Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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