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Swedish krona braces for chilly winter

Business Recorder said the Swedish and Norwegian crowns, sought as safe havens in the euro zone debt crisis, are likely to weaken in coming months as the risk of deflation in Sweden and falls in the price of Norway's oil darken the outlook for both.

Sweden could face the brunt of any sell-off, analysts said. Its crown is set to become a funding currency - one with low interest rates used during times of robust risk appetite to borrow, and then sell to invest in other countries' higher-yielding assets.

"In its fight against deflation, we expect the Riksbank to take more measures," Jonathan Webb, head of FX strategy at Jefferies, told the Business Recorder. "We think that the Riksbank's measures make the crown a funding currency and we are bearish about its prospects."

Last week, Sweden’s central bank cut interest rates to zero as it stepped up its increasingly desperate fight against deflation. It's a record low.

“The Swedish economy is relatively strong and economic activity is continuing to improve. But inflation is too low. The executive board of the Riksbank has therefore decided that monetary policy needs to be even more expansionary for inflation to rise towards the target of 2 per cent,” the Riksbank said in a statement.

The Riksbank last cut borrowing costs in July seeking to boost inflation, which has been stuck around zero for most of this year, well below the 2% inflation target set for the central bank by lawmakers.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 11 November 2014 02:15)


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