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Dec 14, 2007 17:48 EEST
(adds closing figures)</p>BUCHAREST
December 14 (SeeNews) - The Romanian leu on Friday lost ground against the single European currency as news of the country's widening current account gap alarmed foreign investors, dealers said.
"The leu closed at 3.5545/95 per euro, after hitting an intraday low of 3.5620," one dealer told SeeNews.
The Romanian currency ended at 3.5215/45 on Thursday and 3.5175/5205 lei per euro on Wednesday.
Foreigners were closing positions in stop-losses on Friday after Romania's central bank (BNR) said that the country's current account deficit for the first 10 months of 2007 rose by 71.8% on the year to 13.346 billion euro ($19.5 billion) due to a widening trade gap.
Rising imports from other member states of European Union were the main reason for the gaping trade gap, figures from the central bank indicated.
Romania joined the EU in January.
BNR set its reference exchange rate, used for statistical purposes, at 3.5484 per euro on Friday, compared to 3.5233 on Thursday. For the dollar, the reference exchange rate was set at 2.4386 versus Thursday's 2.3985 lei.
Interest rates on overnight leu deposits were at an average 7.10%/7.67% on Friday from 7.21%/7.79% on Thursday.
Turnover on the interbank leu deposit market fell to 1,235.5 million lei on Thursday from 1,406.6 million lei on Wednesday. The BNR will issue Friday's figures on Monday.
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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