By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Jack French
The stock market losses from the last week or two, while mild relative to some of the events that occurred over the last year, are still a reverse of about two months of very consistent rally. The Romanian BET pushed higher and rose to about two percent above where it was in February of last year. Slovakia’s SAX is roughly flat over that period. The Hungarian BUX is only a few percent from even, and the Czech PX is about five percent below. The WIG 20 was getting close to its pre-pandemic level but is now about eight percent below. The UK FTSE is lagging behind all CEE indices at this point and is about ten percent below where it was in February. The US S&P continues to outpace Central Europe and is up almost fifteen percent since the start of the pandemic crash.
Aside from a few ups and downs, the US market has had an almost linear climb since mid-April. Romania has consistently been the best performing CEE index but has not performed as well as the US by a fairly wide margin. CEE markets continue to be bunched together fairly tightly compared to most of the last year in terms of performance since the pandemic started. The rally that began in November has had zero effect on Slovakia’s index but has seen a surge in the rest of the region’s markets. Over that period the BET is up 21%, the Czech PX rose 24%, the WIG 20 gained 29%, and the BUX leads the rally with a gain of 37%. For comparison, the S&P is up 18% since then and the UK FTSE has risen 20%.
Markets faltered in the last two weeks following a couple months of consistent gains. Three of the five CEE indices lost ground. On the low end of the group, the WIG 20 fell nearly six percent, its largest loss since early November. The Czech PX dropped just over two percent, and the Hungarian BUX lost a fraction of a percent. The Slovakian SAX, which typically doesn’t share the trends of the other indices, rose about one and a half percent. The Romanian BET climbed almost two percent and continued its long run of leading CEE markets. The UK FTSE fell steadily and finished just over two percent lower. The US S&P was lower for most of the two weeks but jumped around the Presidential Inauguration day in the US and finished the two weeks up about a percent and is near its all-time high.