The national currency RON depreciated between January 1 and 27 of this year by roughly 1.6 against the European currency EUR leading to the worst start of year since 2010, according to an analysis conducted by brokerage Equity Invest. The strengthening of the US dollar at the beginning of the year led to the depreciation of European currencies, also against the EUR, thus in the first seven days of January, RON lost about 0.7 per cent against the EUR, Polish zloty and Czech Koruna lost about 0.6 per cent and Hungarian forint about 1.1 per cent. The second depreciation period of RON was triggered by the loosening measures of the monetary policy, a cycle started by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) last year. The analysis reminds that in the spring of 2013, BNR governor announced that Romania will start a cycle of reducing the monetary policy interest and that the central bank reduced the benchmark interest rate to 5 per cent in July, and by the later reductions this value stopped at 4 per cent at the end of the year. “Theoretically, a depreciation of the national currency was to be expected as a consequence, and the decrease of the benchmark interest rate had a low influence on the RON last year,” said Cosmin Enache, vice-CEO of Equity Invest. “I believe that RON might be more sensitive in 2014 to BNR measures, as the option of a new reduction of the benchmark interest rate and of the minimum mandatory cash reserves is possible this year, especially as inflation will remain low,” added Enache.