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BUX stalls in Fed suspense, MOL drags

Telco

The Budapest Stock Exchangeʼs main BUX index finished down 0.27% at 22,321.54 Wednesday after rising 1.04 Tuesday. It is up 34.19% from year-end, after losing 10.40% last year.

While European markets mostly improved as good results from some bell-whether companies and an upturn of Chinese stocks balanced the routine US rate hike anxiety, the main index in Budapest trod water then turned down on Wednesday in waiting for the Fedʼs next guidance due after market close in Europe.

A US rate hike may damp the appeal of emerging market assets, including shares.

Ahead of second-quarter results next week, MOL was down on analysts calculations that Brentʼs price fell 43% while the forint only eased 24% from the second quarter of last year, which suggests smaller results in the exploration and production segment.

Magyar Telekom corrected up on expectations that it would publish growing results next week, supporting the outlook for the first dividend payment in three year, although the pace of growth probably slowed from the first quarter.

Richter is expected to publish results on Thursday. The latest consensus is for a nearly 30% annual growth of operative results with net profit shrinking more than 20%, out of a revenue that probably fell by a tad.

Upbeat official jobless and employment data published on Wednesday, showing unemployment fell to the lowest since early 2005 in the April-June period this year, did not help the market as the figures are based on sample-taking for one week only in any three-month period, terming "employed" everybody who worked for money with or without a contract for at least one hour in the reference week, and are distorted by inclusion of fostered workers and people working abroad for less than a year.

In a note on Wednesday, Hungarian bank Takarekbank expected further declines in the official jobless rate this year, but added that while employment rose by 126,000 in April-June from a year earlier, this number was blown by 13,000 more Hungarians working abroad, and 45,000 people in public work schemes funded from state coffers. The employment of the latter is temporary by law, and their usual pay is about a quarter short of the legal minimum wage.

Meanwhile, annual "normal" full-time employment growth within Hungary slowed for the third consecutive month in May both in the national economy and in the private sector, and fell for the second month in both in monthly comparison, according to latest available data.

OTP won 0.17% to HUF 5,800 on turnover of HUF 2.21 bln from a HUF 6.37 bln session total, a third short of the daily average this year.

MOL lost 1.45% to HUF 14,300 on turnover of HUF 1.25 bln.

Magyar Telekom rose 0.75% to HUF 404 on turnover of HUF 462m.

Richter advanced 0.11% to HUF 4,380 on turnover of HUF 2.29 bln.

The bourseʼs mid-cap BUMIX went out 0.76% lower at 1,679.36.

Elsewhere in the region, WIG 20 in Warsaw was up 0.86%, while Pragueʼs PX shed 0.19%.

Western Europeʼs major indices were all up ahead of their close on Wednesday, FTSE100 in London 1.17%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.32%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.82%.

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