Sweden's Krona Climbs to Three-Month High as Inflation Quickens

  • Inflation accelerates to annual 0.8% versus 0.7% estimate
  • Krona gains with Norway's currency as crude oil advances

The Swedish krona rose to the strongest level against the euro since January after the nation’s inflation rate exceeded economists’ predictions.

The currency advanced versus all except one of its 16 major peers. Consumer prices in the biggest Nordic economy rose an annual 0.8 percent in March compared with 0.4 percent the previous month, Statistics Sweden said in a statement Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts was 0.7 percent.

The krona’s advance against the euro is reaching levels that sparked speculation about the Riksbank intervening in foreign-exchange markets earlier this year. The Swedish central bank is due to meet next week to set policy. Norway’s krone reached its strongest level against the dollar in almost six months as the currency of western Europe’s biggest producer benefited from oil climbing to a four-month high in London.

Swedish inflation followed other data that suggested the country “is doing better than the euro zone,” said Jane Foley, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Rabobank International in London. “So the market is speculating that the negative interest-rate policy of the Riksbank will be ended before that of the ECB and hence you have an upside bias for the Swedish krona relative to the euro.”

Sweden’s krona appreciated 0.7 percent to 9.1893 per euro as of 3:21 p.m. London time and earlier touched 9.1879, the strongest since Jan. 4. It strengthened 0.3 percent to 8.0902 per dollar.

A survey of major krona-trading companies and institutions published Tuesday by SEB AB, Sweden’s fourth-largest lender by market value, showed the central bank is now viewed as a “clear positive” for the currency, after being perceived as a “major negative” since 2013, as 67 percent of respondents said they didn’t expect further monetary policy easing.

Norway’s currency weakened 0.3 percent to 8.2231 per dollar after reaching the strongest level since Oct. 21. It was little changed at 9.3462 per euro.

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