Updated: Feb 24, 2020
By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Jack French
Source: Own calculations based on data collected from each index.
The Central European indices saw considerable volatility over the past two weeks amid varying degrees of concern regarding the coronavirus. The US and UK benchmark indices looked quite similar to the main pack of CEE indices as the news of the virus was a global event. All but one of the indices recovered their losses from the first week and finished positive over the two week period.
While the Czech PX followed a similar path as the rest of the indices, it was a clear outlier in terms of overall performance. It dropped nearly two percent during a period when all other indices made at least a fractional gain. The Romanian BET, the second worst performing index, had the least price movement of the indices and finished just slightly higher that it started.
The Polish WIG 20, Hungarian BUX, and Slovakian SAX moved somewhat closely throughout the two weeks but finished all up about one and a quarter percent. This put them right between the US S&P which gained just over two and a half percent and the UK FTSE which was up slightly less than one percent.
Source: Own calculations based on data collected from each index. The first graph shows the previous week’s performance. The remaining graphs show the three-month performance of each of the indices.
Mainly due to the last few weeks of increased volatility, the three month view of the Central European indices has changed significantly. Following a strong upwards trend, the Hungarian BUX has dropped almost four percent since its three month high in early January. Similarly, the Czech PX had been steadily upwards for several months before dropping as much as five percent in the last couple weeks and subsequently rebounding somewhat.
The Romanian BET still looks fairly solid and strongly resembles the S&P 500 over the same period. The Slovakian SAX has performed relatively well over the last few weeks and is up nearly five percent in the last three months. The UK FTSE has been very up and down but is still positive for the three months. the Polish WIG 20 is down about seven percent from early November though most of the drop occurred in the first month.
As the coronavirus fears continue to fluctuate the indices will likely continue to react meaning further volatility. It will be interesting to see the differences in how the indices respond to any further news regarding the virus. Most of the economic impact from the virus will likely be limited to the next several months there could be considerable movement in that time.