By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Jack French
Despite a modest drop, the Romanian BET is still the best performing CEE index by a solid margin. With gains of roughly ten percent since the beginning of the pandemic, the BET is about six percent ahead of the SAX. In comparison, the S&P is closing in on a 25% gain over the same period. The Czech PX rode its recent gains to finally breaking through its pre-pandemic level and now has a total return of about one percent. Hungary’s recent downturn means it’s now roughly tied with Poland’s WIG 20 and the UK’s FTSE for worst performers since February 2020. This year has appeared to be a new phase for most of the stock indices. Only the BET and S&P have made substantial gains since the beginning of January. The remaining indexes have been modestly up or down the entire time. One remarkable detail about right now is the variations in returns across the five Central and Eastern European stock markets. In terms of post-outbreak performance, the CEE indices were tightly packed at the end of 2020. Since then, indices like the BET have risen while ones like the BUX have dropped. They now range from as much as five percent down to as much as ten percent up.
Over the last two weeks, the US S&P 500 and UK FTSE rose over four percent each. The Polish WIG 20 rose about three percent to lead all CEE indices. The Slovakian SAX was closed for much of the two weeks but gained slightly less than two percent. Rounding out the gainers, the Czech PX climbed just over one percent. The Romanian BET fell about one percent, and the Hungarian BUX fell nearly three percent. The UK FTSE had its best performance in some time, and the S&P is at or near its all-time high. The BET had been gaining steadily for a while but faltered for the first time in a while.