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Dec 28, 2007 18:14 EEST
(adds closing figures, dealer comments)</p>BUCHAREST
December 28 (SeeNews) - Rising euro demand on Friday pressured the Romanian leu beyond the 3.6-per-euro level on the interbank foreign exchange market, dealers said.
The Romanian currency opened at 3.5380 per euro and touched an intraday-low of 3.6200. Then it gained ground to end at about 3.6100, weaker than Thursday’s closing level of 3.5470/5530.
“The euro rose [versus the leu] most probably because of buying orders from local traders and some foreign investors who closed positions," one dealer told SeeNews.
The leu was last traded cheaper on November 23, at 3.6221 per euro, central bank data showed.
“It is difficult to forecast what will happen at the beginning of next year. Usually, foreign players close positions at that time and move the profit to their countries. However, there is a central bank monetary policy meeting [on January 7]. If they decide to raise the key interest rate, the leu may gain some ground,” the dealer said.
In October, the central bank raised the key interest rate to 7.5% from 7.0% due to accelerating inflation.
BNR set its reference exchange rate, used for statistical purposes, at 3.6102 per euro on Friday, compared to 3.5282 per euro on Thursday. For the dollar, the reference exchange rate was set at 2.4564 versus Thursday’s 2.4327 lei.
Interest rates on overnight leu deposits were at an average 7.34%/8.06% on Friday versus 7.36%/8.08% on Thursday.
Turnover on the interbank leu deposit market fell to 1,482 million lei on Thursday from 2,821.7 million lei on Monday. The BNR will issue Friday's figures on January 3.
Following are Friday's average bid and ask quotes of commercial banks on Romania's interbank market. They were calculated at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) by the BNR, based on data provided by 10 commercial banks (in percent):
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