BUX slightly up in pre-holiday trade


The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished up 0.39% at 23,547.40 Wednesday after falling 1.22% Tuesday. It is up 41.56% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

While euro zone markets rallied on upwardly adjusting commodity and oil prices and a weaker euro, the Budapest parquet struggled from a slight loss to medium gains by close, still underperforming. Higher oil prices benefit only oil company MOL among Hungarian blue chips.

Volumes remained small ahead of the Christmas holiday. The Budapest Stock Exchange will reopen on Monday.

Hopes for further unconventional easing were reinforced by the minutes of the latest policy meeting of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), published on Wednesday.

But sentiment was rather cautious as MNB measures so far did little to invigorate moribund lending and investments.

The third quarter survey of the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) showed that 61.3% of companies in the business sector planned investments in the next twelve month, 11.8% points fewer than a year earlier, accompanied with a parallel drop in loan demand, due to bleaker economic outlook and lack of own resources.

Actual investment volumes fell in Hungary 3.4% annually in the third quarter after a rise of 5.7% in the second quarter, the survey showed.

Investments in the business sector fell 7.6% from a year ago, while public investment volumes grew 22.4%. But the latter could also suffer next year, when EU funds other than agricultural payments are projected to fall below 2.5% of the probably shrinking Hungarian GDP from around 6% this year.

Fresh official statistics pointed to another drag: vacancies multiplied further in the third quarter to a five-year peak in the business sector. Emigration of skilled job seekers and budget underfunding of training hurts productivity and widens the output gap in the economy, analysts add.

OTP rose 0.07% to HUF 5,904 on turnover of HUF 1.45 bln from a preliminary HUF 2.56 bln session total, less than third of the daily average this year.

MOL gained 0.72% to HUF 13,960 on turnover of HUF 441m.

Magyar Telekom won 1.25% to HUF 405 on turnover of HUF 139 mln.

Richter advanced 0.13% to HUF 5,407 on turnover of HUF 456 mln.

The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.77% higher at 1,626.39.

Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.23%, while Pragueʼs PX shot up 1.68%.

Western Europeʼs major indices were all sharply up ahead of their close on Wednesday, FTSE100 in London 2.49%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 2.18%, and CAC40 in Paris 2.25%.

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