Record high economic growth prompts slight appreciation of local leu

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The local currency, the leu, on Sept. 1 was subject to just a marginal growth after the National Statistics Institute announced a record-high economic growth for H1, whereas amounts traded on the Bucharest currency market were modest. The National Bank of Romania (BNR) calculated on Sept. 1 an exchange rate of 3.5204 lei per euro, 1.26 bani below the previous level. Conversely, the dollar gained 0.67 bani, climbing to en exchange rate of 2.4039 lei.
 
At the opening of the inter-bank trading session on Sept.1, the euro was traded for 3.5250 lei, but then fell to 3.51 lei after data on economic growth was announced. The market later witnessed a slight correction.
 
Raiffeisen Bank chief dealer Aurelian Mihailescu says that following the announcement of economic growth figures, pressure to lower the exchange rate is evident and the main risk is that of tapping the threshold of 3.51 lei per euro. Yet Mihailescu says it is very hard for the euro to get below 3.5 lei and says the exchange rate will further favor foreign currency acquisitions.
Until the end of the trading session, quotations had dropped to 3.5150 lei per euro.
 
The amounts traded on Sept. 1 on the Bucharest currency market were modest also because American banks were closed, but the comeback of non-resident investors might put extra pressure for the decrease of the exchange rate.
The appreciation of the leu is backed by the relatively high interest rates on the monetary market, with rates for short-term placements varying around 13% a year, some 3% above BNR’s monetary policy rate of 10.25% per annum.
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