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Zloty Gains After Surprise Current Account Surplus: Warsaw Mover

The zloty advanced along with government bonds after Polish current-account data showed an unexpected surplus for the second straight month in May.

The zloty strengthened 0.3 percent to 4.3088 against the euro at 4:14 p.m. in Warsaw, after declining as much as 0.2 percent earlier in the day. That reduced the currency’s year-to-date loss to 5.2 percent, the worst performance among Europe’s emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg behind Turkey’s lira and Russia’s ruble.

The current account surplus in the European Union’s largest Eastern economy reached 574 million euros ($748 million) in May, down from 714 million in April, according to figures published today by Poland’s central bank. The monthly surpluses are the two biggest on record and the first back-to-back positive results since at least 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The median forecast from a Bloomberg survey of 26 analysts predicted a 157 million-euro current account deficit.

“We’re dealing with deeper changes in the Polish economy, which is becoming less imports-consuming,” Bank Millennium SA economists, led by Grzegorz Maliszewski, wrote in an e-mailed note. Exporters “are doing relatively well, increasing sales despite a recession in the euro area” while imports have been “limited by weak consumption and investment.”

Exports rose 3.1 percent from 12 months earlier to 12.4 billion euros in May, while imports shrank 4.6 percent to 12.3 billion euros, the central bank’s data showed.

‘Still Attractive’

Poland’s improving payments balance shows the zloty is “still attractive,” Peter Attard Montalto, Nomura International Plc’s emerging markets economist, said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg questions. The surplus in April and May also shows that “speculative selling” of the zloty in the second quarter must have been “even bigger” than previously assumed, he said.

The zloty depreciated 3.4 percent against the euro in the April to June period, the worst performance since the third quarter of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The yield on Poland’s 10-year government bond fell six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 3.89 percent today.

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