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Central European Stocks Decline, Led by Mol, CEZ and OTP

The NTX Index of 30 companies in central and eastern Europe fell for the first day in three, declining 0.3% to 1366.26 as of 11:36 a.m. in Budapest, and taking its loss so far this week to 0.2%. The Czech PX Index fell 0.7%, Hungary's BUX Index lost 1.1% and the Polish WIG Index declined 0.7%. The Austrian ATX Index gained 0.7%. Mol, eastern Europe's biggest oil company, fell 1.7%to Ft 20,450, paring gains after six consecutive sessions of advances.

The price of crude oil fell on expectations rising stockpiles of crude and fuel mean the U.S. will be able to meet summer energy demand. That may reduce refiners' margins. PKN, its Polish rival, fell 0.6% to 46.8 Polish zloty, while Unipetrol AS, a Czech refiner, dropped 1.3% to 187.55 Czech crown. CEZ fell 1.3% to 652.5 Czech crown, declining for a fourth day. The company's Romanian unit yesterday said it will invest 183 million lei ($64 million) to upgrade its distribution network, Mediafax reported. OTP lost 1.2% to Ft 5,525, its second day of losses after Montenegrin daily Vijesti yesterday reported the Hungarian lender has signed a preliminary agreement to buy the country's lender Crnogorska Koercijalna Banka for about 100 million euros.

Bank Pekao SA, Poland's second-largest bank, fell 0.9% to 160 Polish zloty, its third day of declines. Chief Executive Officer Jan Krzysztof Bielecki will remain in his post after the lender merges with Bank BPH SA, Puls Biznesu reported yesterday. OMV AG, Austria's biggest refiner gained 1.3% to 42.25 euros after Deutsche Bank AG raised its price estimate for the oil company's shares to 55 euros from 50. Verbund AG, Austria's biggest power producer, gained 0.6% to 36.7 euros. The stock has risen for four straight days since Christoph Schultes, an Erste Bank analyst, raised his rating for the stock to “buy'' from “accumulate'' on June 19.