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BUX gains 0.88% as strong US data fuels rally

The Budapest Stock Exchange's blue-chip BUX index closed Thursday trade up 0.88% to 22,825.94 as the publication of robust US jobs and productivity data boosted previously sagging sentiment among BSE investors.

The BUX gained 199.23 points on a composite exchange turnover of HUF 22.82 billion, rising from an intra-session low at more than 125 points below its Wednesday close following the publication at 3:30 p.m., Central European Time, of US data showing that the number of people requesting unemployment benefits plunged to a nearly three-year low last week and that productivity grew at its fastest place in nine months during the fourth quarter.

The BUX fluctuated in a 1.67% range between an intra-session high of 22,890.31 shortly after morning bell and an intra-session low of 22,509.14 shortly before 3:30 p.m.

The mid-cap BUMIX index also gained on Thursday, advancing 6.24 points, or 0.33%, to 1,918.80.

BSE blue-chips stood as follows at Thursday's closing bell:

Oil and gas company MOL gained 2.72% to HUF 24,145 on a turnover of HUF 2.55 billion;

Magyar Telekom advanced 1.96% to HUF 573 on a turnover of HUF 1.77 billion;

Drug company Richter gained 0.99% to HUF 37,100 on a turnover of HUF 1.46 billion;

OTP Bank lost 1.37% to HUF 5,555 on an exchange-high turnover of HUF 15.8 billion on the eve of the publication of its 2010 financial report.

The BSE Big Four generated 94.57% of the exchange's composite Thursday turnover.

Other major central and eastern European blue-chip stock indices also closed higher on Thursday, with Prague's PX-50 gaining 0.71% and Warsaw's WIG-20 advancing 1.91%.