BUX follows European peers belatedly

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The Budapest Stock Exchange's main BUX index finished up 1.13% at 16,382.70 Friday, after sinking 0.33% Thursday. It is down 11.75% from the end of last year, after it rose 2.15% in 2013. The Budapest parquet followed European peers up with a one day delay in a buy-into-loss pattern, while the deputy governor of the central bank said recent falls of the Hungarian currency "do not cause any particular problems."

 A stabilisation of Brent prices made MOL the winner of the day.

News that the European Commission was not informed of and wants to scrutinise the transfer of control of MKB Bank, recently bought by the state from BayernLB, to the National Bank of Hungary lifted OTP, which, along with MOL and Richter, was hit by the Russian developments during the week.

In the afternoon, news might have also helped that Hungary's president sent the law on closing down most retail shops from next year on Sundays to parliament for reconsideration. Analysts see this a rare occurrence as the president is one of the veterans of the governing FIDESZ party. A close-down could shave several tenth of % points off Hungary's economic growth, analysts said earlier.

On-going anxieties still kept the upturn limited. Although trade with Russia has decreased in the past five years, Hungary's exports to Russia still equal 2.3% of GDP, well over the European Union's average of 0.7% exposure to Russian trade, analysts said, based on Russian customs data.

Fresh statistics showed average wage growth decelerated in the private sector in October, well under the pace a year ago.

 "Something is going amiss in Hungary," said Standard Bank economist Timothy Ash in a note on Friday. A slate of various government policies recently "reminds us of a planned economy from a different era, and one cannot avoid but see a strong nationalistic/xenophobic undertone." Being underweight in Hungarian assets thus makes sense even if the picture gets better once the focus shifts from policy to economic data, Mr Ash said.

OTP gained 1.35% to HUF 3,755 on turnover of HUF 4.00 bln from a HUF 9.78 bln session total, almost a quarter above the daily average this year.

MOL won 2.23% to HUF 11,480 on turnover of HUF 1.84 bln.

Magyar Telekom lost 0.59% to HUF 339 on turnover of HUF 830 mln.

Richter advanced 0.92% to HUF 3,401 on turnover of HUF 2.66 bln.

The bourse's mid-cap BUMIX went out 1.26% lower at 1,422.38.

Over the week, the BUX was down 5.40% after sliding 2.44% the previous week.

OTP dove 7.97% after being flat over last week.

MOL dropped 0.45% after plunging 5.34% the previous week.

Magyar Telekom dipped 2.59 after falling 1.69% last week.

Richter lost 9.67% after easing 2.71% over the previous week.

Elsewhere in the region, Warsaw's WIG20 was down 0.86%, while Prague's PX fell 0.70%. Western Europe's major indices were all up ahead of their close Friday, FTSE-100 in London 0.08%, DAX30 in Frankfurt 0.11%, and CAC40 in Paris 0.64%.

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