Zloty Gains Most in 2 Weeks as Putin Says Won’t Split Ukraine

Poland’s currency advanced most since March 4 as President Vladimir Putin said Russia was not looking to split Ukraine, boosting appetite for assets in Central and Eastern Europe.

The zloty advanced 0.6 percent to 4.2020 against the euro at 3:32 p.m. in Warsaw, the second-best performance among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg behind South Africa’s rand. The gain helped curb the zloty’s loss this month to 1.1 percent, the eighth-worst performance among developing-nation peers.

Russia wishes no harm to Ukraine, Putin told lawmakers today, saying the Crimea referendum from March 16 which backed joining Russia by almost 97 percent was “open, fair,” and indicating he didn’t have ambitions in other regions of Ukraine.

“This could be enough to see the zloty return to the lower end of the 4.15-4.25 range,” Henrik Gullberg, a London-based currency strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, said by e-mail today. “For a more sustained trend I think we need to see higher inflation and rising policy expectations.”

Polish consumer prices advanced 0.7 percent from a year earlier in February, undershooting a 0.8 percent median estimate from a Bloomberg survey, the statistics office said on March 14. Policy makers extended their pledge to keep the benchmark interest rate at record low 2.5 percent at least until the end of the third quarter on March 5.

The yields on Poland’s two-year government bonds fell three basis points to 2.97 percent, declining for a third day. Poland will offer debt maturing in July 2018 and October 2023 in return for notes due in April and July of this year at a switch auction March 20, the Finance Ministry said in a statement today.

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