Romania’s Leu Strengthens First Time in Three Days

Romania’s leu gained for the first time in three days, extending its appreciation this year.

The currency strengthened 0.3 percent to 4.373 per euro by 4:45 p.m. in Bucharest. It has advanced 1.7 percent this year, the most among emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa currencies tracked by Bloomberg, as foreign investors piled into the nation’s local debt.

“With no local debt tenders this week, the international climate will probably weigh more than usual on the local market mood,” Mihai Tantaru, a Bucharest-based economist at ING Bank Romania SA, wrote in a note today.

The euro strengthened for a second day against the dollar as a poll showed Pier Luigi Bersani, the ex-communist who campaigned to maintain budget rigor, was on track to win Italy’s parliamentary elections. European stocks gained as Italians voted for the first time since Europe’s financial crisis ushered in unelected leaders who imposed an austerity program and amid speculation Japan may appoint a central bank chief who favors stimulus.

Romania’s debt has rallied as select fixed-income securities are eligible for entry to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Barclays Plc (BARC)’s emerging-market bond indexes from March.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net; Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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