CEE MARKETS-Currencies halt gains as investors eye key U.S. data

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By Anita Komuves BUDAPEST, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Central European currencies sought direction on Monday as better-than-expected U.S. jobs data at the end of last week and the strengthening of the dollar halted the firming trend in the region. The dollar hit a four-month high against the euro on Monday as strong labour market data encouraged investors to bring forward their bets on the Federal Reserve reducing stimulus. “The market is now looking ahead to U.S. inflation data due on Wednesday and whether that also suggests an earlier start of tapering,” an FX trader in Budapest said. Hungary reports its latest inflation data on Tuesday, but high CPI is already priced in and is unlikely to affect markets, he said. The central bank started a rate hike cycle in June to fight a rise in prices. The Hungarian forint fell 0.22% to 354.54 per euro on Monday. The forint is also affected by technical reasons and is sliding in a correction after gaining near 2% since…

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