BUX shoots up, but volumes remain thin

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The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 2.93% at 16,265.01 Tuesday after gaining 0.30% Monday. It is down 2.22% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year. The Budapest parquet recovered sharply for a third day from last week's multi-year lows as the managing director of Hungary's central bank aired the possibility of some kind of local quantitative easing at a Euromoney conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

The deputy chief executive of OTP Bank, the largest lender in Hungary, told the conference he thought the worst of the cost burden for banks from Hungarian government policies was now over.

ING said in a note on Tuesday that Hungary's private sector output should pick up in the second half of the year, based on its new economic indicator called LeadING HUBE. The January index, which forecasts the state of the economy 10 months prior, shows the Hungarian economy could once again enter an expansion phase in the second half of the year after a temporary slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter. This is based on new orders, construction permits in the non-residential market and household confidence, ING said.

Raiffeisen Bank said on Tuesday that the main rating companies, which currently all rate Hungary's sovereign debt in the category not recommended for investment, could raise the rating in the autumn. Raiffeisen said it reacted to remarks made on Monday by Hungary's economy minister who expected rating firms to raise Hungary in their spring rating overview.

Drug maker Richter and its partner Actavis on Tuesday said a Phase III trial had positive results in anti-psychotic drug Cariprazine's effects to prevent relapse for schizophrenia patients.

OTP won 3.02% to HUF 3,688 on turnover of HUF 3.39 bln from a HUF 6.18 bln session total, a fifth short of the daily average last year.

MOL gained 2.71% from another near six-year low on Monday to HUF 11,000 on turnover of HUF 1.22 bln.

Magyar Telekom improved 3.29% to HUF 345 on turnover of HUF 527 mln.

Richter advanced 3.55% to HUF 3,532 on turnover of HUF 801 mln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.04% higher at 1,423.78.

Elsewhere in the region, the WIG 20 in Warsaw was down 0.37%, while Prague's PX fell 0.20%. Western Europe's major indices were mixed ahead of their close Tuesday, FTSE-100 in London up 0.35%, DAX30 in Frankfurt down 0.03%, and CAC40 in Paris up 0.93%.

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