Sweden’s krona strengthened amid speculation that the nation’s central bank will keep raising interest rates to contain inflation as the economy expands.
The krona appreciated against the euro for a third consecutive day, with the 17-nation shared currency weakening as Moody’s Investors Service cut its credit rating for Ireland. The Swedish economy will grow 3.8 percent in 2012, 3.6 percent in 2013, and 4.6 percent this year, the government said on April 13. The Riksbank is predicted to raise its interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent next week, a survey of economists by Bloomberg News showed.
“The krona’s stronger as people are looking forward to the Riksbank rate decision next week,” said John Hydeskov, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S in London. “They are widely expected to raise the benchmark rate by 25 basis points, which is our view as well.”
The krona strengthened 0.7 percent versus the euro to 8.9469 as of 4:38 p.m. in London, for a weekly gain of 0.5 percent. The Swedish currency was 0.3 percent stronger at 6.1961 per dollar. The Norwegian krone strengthened as much as 0.3 percent to 5.3795 against the dollar, the strongest since August 2008.
Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest bank by assets, today changed its three-to-six month forecast for the Swedish krona to 8.70 per euro, from 8.50, according to Hydeskov.
“We still think the Swedish krona will outperform the euro,” he said. “We will see a slow drift down to 8.70.” The currency pair last reached that level in December 2000, and reached 8.7003 on Feb. 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Stockholm-based Riksbank has increased its key rate five times since the start of July, as it tries to prevent Europe’s fastest-recovering economy from overheating. The bank raised the rate to 1.5 percent in February from a record low of 0.25 percent last year. It will announce its next decision on April 20.
Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves has said he can’t rule out raising rates at all five remaining policy meetings this year.
The Swedish currency has strengthened 4 percent against a basket of nine developed-nation peers this year, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes, the best performance within the group.
Swedish house prices slipped in the three months through March from the previous quarter as the central bank signaled interest rates will continue to rise and after the regulator imposed a cap on mortgage lending. House prices for one- or two-dwelling buildings slipped by 1 percent, Stockholm-based Statistics Sweden said on its website today. From a year earlier, prices rose 3 percent, the office said.
Norway’s krone strengthened 0.2 percent to 5.3867 per dollar, and was 0.6 percent stronger at 7.7739 per euro today.