Central Europe sees strong gains as inflation forecast

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Central Europe sees strong gains as inflation forecast

PRAGUE, Jan 17 Reuters -- The Polish zloty led central Europe higher on Monday, rising to a four-month peak against the euro as the region kept up early-year gains amid expectations that interest rates would continue to increase to counter rising inflation. Consumer inflation has gone up since last year, hitting multi-year or even multi-decade highs in central Europe, with firms facing rising costs. The Czech data showed that producer prices in 2021 rose at their fastest pace since 1995. The headline rate was stuck at 14 year highs of 7.4% year-on-year, at the end of 2021 according to Hungarian inflation data. On Monday, markets were expecting Core Inflation data in Poland that was expected to be the highest in 20 years. By 1022 GMT, the zloty had risen 0.4% to 4.518 to the euro. A slight easing of the dollar versus the euro gave a boost to the currencies as risk sentiment was stronger. Budapest gained 0.6% of the central European stock markets. Hungary's forint, a top global performer this year with gains of almost 4%, has gained ground after dropping due to profit-taking at the end of last week. It went up by 0.3% to 355.21 to the euro on Monday. The central bank of Hungary is expected to continue raising its base rate next week, although it has paused in January in lifting its one-week deposit rate, ending a series of hikes as the forint has been strong. The real-carry on the HUF remains negative with the rate at 4% and core inflation at 6.4%, according to Commerzbank. The Romanian leu was steady there. The Czech crown gained 0.3% against the rest of the region, but remained just off a more than 10 year high hit last week.