By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Jack French
The stock markets have performed well throughout Central Europe almost every week since the beginning of November. Prior that point they had been in a several months long downtrend. The US market didn’t share in the poor performance from summer to mid fall but has enjoyed a similarly strong rally over the last two months. Interestingly, though possibly coincidentally, the five CEE stock indexes tracked here are more closely grouped now than they’ve been at any point over the last eleven months. They are also quickly approaching break even over that same period. The Romanian BET is slightly positive since February with others just behind. For comparison, the S&P is up around 14% during the pandemic period while the UK FTSE is down about 7%. All of the indices besides the SAX are at their highest points since the very beginning of the pandemic. The CEE markets are also closing the gap on the US, though at a very slow rate. At one point the BUX was down nearly 30% while the S&P was above break even. Now the gap between the lowest performing CEE index and the S&P is more like 15-20% and has been narrowing over the last several weeks.
The broad market rally continued over the past four weeks. All markets gained, and four of the five beat both the S&P and FTSE benchmarks. Most of the jump in stocks occurred in the last week, but the final three weeks of 2020 were moderately positive as well. The Czech PX had exceptional returns of over eleven percent while the Slovakian SAX was only slightly better than even. The Hungarian BUX continued a strong last month or two and rose nearly eight percent. The polish WIG 20 and Romanian BET both rose about six percent. The UK FTSE finished up about five percent and the US S&P 500 gained a little over four percent. Stocks jumped mostly in the last week but were moderately positive over the last three weeks of 2020.