Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- PKO Bank Polski SA and Bank Pekao SA, Poland’s two largest lenders, led gains in the benchmark equity index as emerging-market assets rallied after Lawrence Summers pulled out of the race for the next Federal Reserve chairman.
PKO rose 0.9 percent to 38.18 zloty by 12:30 p.m., heading for its highest close in two weeks, while UniCredit SpA’s unit Pekao added 2.2 percent to 174.70 zloty. PZU SA, the nation’s largest insurer, climbed 0.8 percent to 425.65 zloty, increasing for the first time in three days.
Poland’s largest financial institutions are benefiting “from the good sentiment for emerging markets” after Summers decided to withdraw, Dariusz Gorski, a Warsaw-based analyst at Bank Zachodni WBK SA, said by phone today. PKO, Pekao and PZU are among “foreign investors’ favorite Polish stocks,” Gorski said.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.4 percent to 1000.55, poised for its highest level since June 4. Summers, a former Treasury secretary, would tighten Fed policy more than Janet Yellen, who was his main rival to replace Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll last week.
The dollar weakened against almost all its major peers after Summers pulled out of the race, boosting the appetite for riskier assets. The zloty added 0.2 percent to 4.1970 per euro, the highest level in more than a month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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