OTP Bank Nyrt. (OTP), Hungary’s largest lender, capped its first weekly advance this month as Hungary’s retail sales beat estimates and speculation the global economy is strengthening boosted demand for emerging-market assets.
The shares strengthened 3.3 percent to 4,040 forint by the close in Budapest for a weekly gain of 2.4 percent. The benchmark BUX stock index jumped 1.6 percent to 19,372.48. Foldhitel es Jelzalogbank Nyrt., a Hungarian mortgage lender, soared 6.9 percent to 543 forint.
Hungarian retail sales rose 1.5 percent in December from a year earlier, exceeding economists’ expectations for 1 percent growth. Purchases of new homes in the U.S. outstripped forecasts in January after climbing a month earlier to a one-year high. Better-than-estimated consumer confidence data also bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.
“The retail sales growth implies that fourth-quarter consumption figures might turn out to have been in positive territory,” Janos Samu, a Budapest-based economist at Concorde Ertekpapir Zrt., wrote in a research report today on the Hungarian data.
The forint depreciated 0.2 percent to 290.01 per euro.
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