BUX down again


The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished down 0.88% at 21,529.13 Thursday after rising 0.12% Wednesday. It is up 29.43% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

The Budapest parquet fell for the fourth time in five days after a short-lived upturn in final trades on Wednesday.

On stronger than expected inflation and labour market data from the US, falling European equity markets mostly turned around and improved late afternoon as a day-long syphoning effect from bond markets eased, but this came late for the BUX.

Most investors remained in cautious, day-trading mood while bond markets lured funds all over Europe, except in Greece, in the wake of the noncommittal statement from the Fed Wednesday evening, complete with policymakers projecting higher unemployment and lower economic growth in the US than in their previous forecast in March. This pressured the dollar, reinforced the euro, and shepherded money back into most European sovereigns, including in Hungary.

Bond markets were also helped as market players increasingly take in stride Greeceʼs agony. However, analystsʼ longer-term optimism also failed to boost BUX, plagued by local worries, too, ahead of a European finance ministersʼ meeting over Greece later in the evening, with little chance to bring about a breakthrough.

Erste Bank said in a note on Thursday that the CEE regionʼs economies are not highly exposed to Greece, meaning no direct impact from Athensʼ potential exit from the euro zone and a likely subsequent collapse of domestic demand there.

"There is only very little trade linkage between CEE countries and Greece which could potentially affect CEE economies," Erste said. "So even in case of introduction and devaluation of a new Greek drachma, followed by collapse of domestic demand, the economic impact on CEE countries would be close to zero."

"Fiscal deficits and current account deficits have been narrowed considerably (in CEE countries), so the vulnerability to the market stress has been reduced for CEE countries preventing them from any harsh contagion," Erste said.

OTP lost 0.19% to HUF 5,310 on turnover of HUF 5.06 bln from a HUF 7.59 bln session total, a quarter short of the daily average this year.

MOL dropped 2.44% to HUF 14,405 on turnover of HUF 888 mln.

Magyar Telekom slid 0.25% to HUF 402 on turnover of HUF 279 mln.

Richter retreated 0.47% to HUF 4,250 on turnover of HUF 1.28 bln.

The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.24% higher at 1,656.66.

Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.60%, while Pragueʼs PX fell 1.10%.

Western Europeʼs major indices were all up ahead of their close Thursday, FTSE100 in London 0.27%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.90%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.17%.

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