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BUX slightly up while local worries weigh

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 0.17% at 17,350.31 Monday, after rising 1.01% Friday. It is down 6.54% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. Last week, the BUX was up 0.13% after losing 1.99% over the previous, holiday shortened, week.

After languishing in the red for almost the entire day, the BUX shot up in the final couple of minutes on bargain hunting. With global mood souring on lacklustre manufacturing data in the euro area and Asia, local worries weighed on the Budapest parquet in spite of Hungary's manufacturing PMI reaching a seven-year high in October.

OTP sank as investors expect the government to reveal on Tuesday details of the plan to convert retail foreign currency loans into forint debts next year, including the timing and the conversion rates.

MOL ended up, but was volatile during the day after Reuters reported at the weekend that the US was mounting pressure to stop MOL selling its 49% stake, complete with management rights, in its Croatian peer INA to a Russian firm, probably Gazprom.

Enthusiasm for Magyar Telekom fizzled out. It soared a spectacular 5.26% Friday after the prime minister said a controversial plan to tax internet traffic would be withdrawn from next year's budget bill, pending, as he put it, a "long national consultation" on the matter. Profit taking started as investors reckoned that the tax issue would be revisited early next year anyway, albeit in some altered form.

Richter continued to be pressured a few days before its third quarter results which could show how the week rouble dented its Russian business. However, it turned into black in the final minutes of trade in a day-trading pattern as investors deemed it too cheap after weeks of falling, and on news that suggested it could increase its exports to Azerbaijan.

OTP lost 1.11% to HUF 4020, on turnover of HUF 3.53 bln from a HUF 4.99 bln session total, less than two-thirds of the daily average this year. MOL gained 0.77% to HUF 11,790 on turnover of HUF 334 mln. Magyar Telekom eased 0.29% to HUF 339 on turnover of HUF 322 mln. Richter advanced 1.25% to HUF 3,800 on turnover of HUF 705 mln. The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.10% higher at 1,453.22.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was down 0.05%, while Prague's PX sank 0.68%. Western Europe's major indices were all down up ahead of their close Monday, FTSE-100 in London 0.95%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.67%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.91%.

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