BUX falls faster


The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished down 1.68% at 21,476.74 Thursday after falling 0.70% Wednesday. It is up 29.11% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

 The Budapest parquet ended down for a second day.

The BUX hovered around Wednesdayʼs close in directionless trade until afternoon, then turned deeply south amid Europe-wide risk avoidance ahead of another EU summit on Greece later in the evening, with no assurance of a final breakthrough.

   On the home turf, a second official estimate confirmed a slowdown in retail trade growth in April, and the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) steeply lowered its estimate for investment growth this year, and sharpened its decline forecast for next year, due to waning EU funds.

   In its latest inflation report out Thursday, the MNB penciled in growth figures above market consensus, but it still projected a slowdown also in GDP, whole-economy and private employment, and household real-income growth.

   The chief economist of MNB also said that a shift to a somewhat less dovish language in Tuesdayʼs Monetary Council statement indicated Hungaryʼs latest rate cut cycle was approaching the end.

   Richter was specially pressured by another reminder from the MNB, citing data on Hungarian exports to Russia which fell 30.4% year-on-year in the first quarter, although Russian news agency TASS quoted the speaker of the Russian Federation Council as saying that working out retaliatory sanctions against the EU after the EU extended its sanctions against Russia on Monday, Russia should take into account the stances of countries with which it had good economic and political relations, which have actively opposed the policy of sanctions, such as Hungary, Greece and Cyprus. "Such states should be supported," the speaker said.

    Until late afternoon profit taking took its toll, Magyar Telekom was supported by news it probably could, after all, start price hikes next month. A statement from Hungaryʼs telecom market regulator (NMHH) said the office was now confident an agreement was possible by July 1 as the latest. Magyar Telekom and Telenor was hit with a regulatory injunction early June which forbade the implementation of planned tariff rises in July, pending an investigation into the fairness of communicating the price changes to costumers.

   OTP lost 1.19% to HUF 5,484 on turnover of HUF 3.70 bln from a HUF 10.66 bln session total, a hair above the daily average this year.

   MOL dropped 2.04% to HUF 14,155 on turnover of HUF 3.50 bln.

   Magyar Telekom dipped 0.25% to HUF 401 on turnover of HUF 985m.

   Richter retreated 3.05% to HUF 4,101 on turnover of HUF 2.36 bln.

   The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.79% lower at 1,640.34.

   Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.32%, while Pragueʼs PX garnered 0.06%.

   Western Europeʼs major indices were mixed ahead of their close Thursday, with FTSE100 in London down 0.44%, DAX30 in Frankfurt up 0.07%, and CAC40 in Paris up 0.09%.

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