BUX improves as markets digest Fed


The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished up 0.57% at 21,238.83 Monday after rising 0.37% Friday. It is up 27.68% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year. Over last week, it was up 0.17% after losing 1.18% in the preceding week.

The Budapest bourse tread water all day, but managed an optimistic shot-up in the last minute of trade, taking cue from Western markets which corrected increasingly up from Fridayʼs plunge as investors tried to see the bright side of the US Fedʼs decision last week.

The Fed kept its record low base rate unchanged at least for another month, although it explained it with clouds gathering on the global and the US economic horizon.

On the domestic turf, a second reading confirmation of government deficit reaching 103% of the annual target in August, news that the tax authority owed taxpayers about HUF 1,000 bln, or more than 0.3% of GDP, of refunds as of end-August, with 90% of the amount withheld from companies, and data on fast deteriorating consumer confidence contributed to caution.

GKI-Ersteʼs said on Monday their combined gauge of consumer and business confidence stood at minus 1.8 points in September, up from minus 2.1 in August as business confidence rose to 7.5 points from 5.2 points, but the consumer confidence index fell to minus 28.3 points from minus 22.7.

Unease in view of continuing bad Western press comments on the governmentʼs handling of the refugee crisis is also palpable, complete with some anxiety concerning foreign trade and tourism as a result of recurrent border closings in Hungary and elsewhere.

"Just as one rotten apple can spoil a barrel, one brutish autocrat can spoil a political union," the US Foreign Affairs commented at the week-end, adding that over the past few years, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban "has been a mild embarrassment for the (European) union, but in his callous and shortsighted reaction to the ongoing refugee crisis, he has become a disgrace."

After steep rises last week on a US clearing of one of its flagship drugs, pharma company Richter, in still large volumes, was less vigorous throughout the day after it said it had terminated its license and collaboration agreement with US-based Palatin Technologies to co-develop and commercialise another agent because it did not want to carry out further examinations requested by European regulators due to risk and cost considerations.

OTP gained 0.89% to HUF 5,456 on turnover of HUF 2.31 bln from a HUF 5.81 bln session total, more than a third short of the daily average this year.

MOL ended unchanged at HUF 12,865 on turnover of HUF 457m.

Magyar Telekom rose 0.26% to HUF 387 on turnover of HUF 351m.

Richter advanced 0.86% to HUF 4,473 on turnover of HUF 2.63 bln.

The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.32% higher at 1,618.83.

Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.46%, while Pragueʼs PX added 0.02%.

Western Europeʼs major indices were all up ahead of their close on Monday, FTSE100 in London 0.37%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.64%, and CAC40 in Paris 1.33%.

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