Poland Weekly Focus | Market turmoil continues
Increased volatility on markets to continue. Flash PMIs for Eurozone in March likely to show strong dive due to persisting uncertainty and expected negative economic consequences. EURPLN to remain on elevated level above 4.50.
March 24 | Unemployment to remain stable. We expect the unemployment rate to land at 5.5% in February and to increase in the coming months due to the preventive measures undertaken by the government to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2. As far as the trajectory is concerned, it is likely to increase more visibly in March and remain elevated for a couple of months.
Bond market drivers | Bond market remains stressed. The global uncertainty related to the spread of the virus and the economic impact of the preventive measures against SARS-CoV-2 is driving the markets. Over the course of the week, the global selloff continued and we have seen substantial moves on the long end of the Polish curve, with the 10Y yield moving in a range of 1.8% to 2.2%. However, the low liquidity could have an impact on the prices.
The National Bank of Poland cut the target rate to 1.0% and began the QE program. The NBP bought bonds worth PLN 2.6bn on the secondary market on March 19, and followed this up with PLN 5.6bn on March 23. The NBP will present the schedule of market operations planned for April by the end of the month. This week, the markets will continue to closely watch the development of the coronavirus in Europe and the US.
FX market drivers | Market fears hit zloty hard. The zloty weakened substantially following the panic on the markets and global selloff of riskier assets. The US dollar continued to strengthen and the EURUSD went below 1.06 at the end of the week. Moreover, the interest rate cut by the NBP and the presentation of the fiscal package by the Polish government created further pressure on the zloty. In the coming weeks, we expect the zloty to remain on an elevated level above 4.40-4.50 against the EUR.