CEE Stock Market Report for March 8 – March 19
By: The Quinnipiac University Economics Research Team, Jack French
More than one year has passed since the Coronavirus crash began, and it is now roughly one year since the bottom of that crash. Stock markets have recovered a long way from March of 2020, but still not all have surpassed February of 2020. Between the five CEE indices and the US and UK, only three have risen past where they were before the outbreak. The Romanian BET has risen over seven percent. The Slovakian SAX never really fell to the same extent as the other indices and is now up almost five percent. The US first tore past February’s high in late Summer of 2020, fluctuated around there, and then took off in early November. The S&P is up more than 15% in thirteen months despite a renewed period of volatility over the last month or two.
It’s unclear yet how 2021 will be able to be characterized, but visually the last couple months shows odd correlations among the CEE stock indices. The BUX and PX have moved almost identically, whereas the BET and SAX have performed similarly to each other but very differently from the other two. The WIG 20 has clearly underperformed the rest over the past three months, but has pretty closely tracked the UK FTSE. The S&P has looked like the BET to a degree, but has also had several times where it did its own thing. Year to date returns are as follows: +10% for the BET, +8% for the SAX , + 5% for the BUX , +5% for the PX, +4% for both the S&P and the FTSE, and -3% for the WIG 20.
Overall, the last two weeks were very positive for stock markets in Central Europe. However, the Polish WIG 20 lost ground once again. The WIG was down less than 1%, but was the only index to finish in negative territory. The Romanian BET led the way for Central Europe with a gain of nearly four percent. The Hungarian BUX was up over two percent, and the Slovakian SAX gained only slightly less than that. The Czech PX rose over a percent and a half. That group of indices rose pretty steadily throughout both weeks. The WIG opened the first week up over a percent and went up from there, but slumped for almost the entire second week. The US S&P 500 was up and down during the last few days, but overall had a strong gain of nearly four percent. The UK FTSE opened higher and pretty much stayed there for a total gain of just under one percent.