The Polish zloty depreciated significantly on Friday, reaching the lowest level in the last 12 years, amid the depreciation of Central European currencies, due to investors’ fears about the increase in COVID-19 cases and the pressures caused by the appreciation of the dollar, Reuters reports , informs Agerpres.

On Friday morning, the zloty depreciated by 0.4% against the euro, reaching its lowest level since March 2009, while the Hungarian forint and the Czech koruna each depreciated by 0.6%.

Central Europe is facing a massive increase in COVID-19 cases and is trying to increase the number of people vaccinated.

On Thursday, the Czech and Slovak governments announced tougher restrictions on unvaccinated people, while Austria is the first country in the European Union to impose a full lockdown on Monday for the entire population and introduce mandatory vaccination from February 1, 2022 , in the face of the resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic.

See also: An EU country follows the example of Austria: Restrictions for unvaccinated people, starting Monday

Hungary reported 11,289 new cases of COVID-19 infections on Friday, the highest level since the pandemic began.

“There is a significant increase in global risk aversion, linked to the imposition of restrictions in several European countries,” said Mateusz Sutowicz, an analyst at Bank Millennium.

The dollar appreciated for the fourth consecutive week, affecting the euro and reducing risk appetite. After gains in recent weeks, Central European currencies are depreciating again.

“It is again a mix of rising COVID-19 cases and the appreciation of the dollar,” said a Prague trader.

In Hungary, the forint has reached almost the lowest level against the euro in its last eight.

Shares of Hungarian energy company MOL fell 2.22% on Friday, after Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that in February Hungary would review and possibly extend the fuel price cap by three months.

Between November 15 and February 15, gasoline and diesel prices could not exceed 480 forints (1.30 euros or $ 1.54) per liter at gas stations, below current prices of more than 500 forints, recently announced Gergely Gulyas, head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s office.

“We hope that this measure will help the economy and could also help reduce inflation,” said Gergely Gulyas, reiterating that Hungary will continue to freeze retail energy prices amid rising energy bills in Europe.

See also: Eastern Europe is on the brink of war: Kiev is ready to open fire if migrants enter Ukraine from Belarus

Data released last week show that the annual inflation rate in Hungary rose to 6.5% in October, above estimates, after a 30.7% rise in fuel prices, which brought them above the psychological level of 500 forints per year. liter.

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