BUX down on global gloom


The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished down 1.48% at 16,667.99 Thursday after dropping 0.20% Wednesday. It is up 0.20% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

The Budapest parquet underperformed most European peers, subdued by the Fed's guidance published after the European close on Wednesday. It killed all hopes that the Fed might postpone its rate hike widely expected in the second half of this year. The Fed's stance also dissipated expectations that the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) would chip in a rate cut any time soon.

Of local news, second reading retail trade statistics confirmed overall demand growth stuck in November. Turnover growth of practically everything sharply slowed, balanced by a shot-up in motor fuels demand in annual comparison.

Commerzbank expects Hungary's unemployment rate to stay around the 7% level "for the time being," with a lot of the past year's improvement being public-work-driven. This type of job creation is reaching its limits, Commerzbank said in a note on Thursday.

Hungary's unemployment rate of 7.1% in the October-December period looks very low but Erste noted this was only the surface picture. Adjusted for public workers in the government's aid-for-work program the jobless rate would be 10-11%, around the level seen during the crisis.

Richter corrected down the most after it rose more than 13% in the previous seven sessions on commercial prospects widening its access to Western markets.

OTP lost 0.96% to HUF 3,697 on turnover of HUF 5.34 bln from a HUF 8.11 bln session total, about 4% more than the daily average last year, and almost a fifth above the average this month.

MOL fell 2.16% to HUF 11,080 on turnover of HUF 1.02 bln.

Magyar Telekom dipped 0.28% to HUF 361 on turnover of HUF 147 mln.

Richter retreated 2.20% to HUF 3,775 on turnover of HUF 1.28 bln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.11% higher at 1,424.27.

Elsewhere in the region, the WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.82%, while Prague's PX fell 0.22%. Western Europe's major indices were mixed ahead of their close Thursday, FTSE-100 in London down 0.39%, DAX30 in Frankfurt up 0.02%, and CAC40 in Paris up 0.22%.


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