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MARKET BRIEFS

Slovak SAX index eases led by Slovakofarma

Slovakia's 16-share SAX index fell 2.44 points to 108.85 on September 9, driven by losses to drug maker Slovakofarma in dull trading on the Bratislava Stock Exchange (BSE).

Slovakofarma fell 220 Sk to close at 2,400, on 37 traded shares. The issue's average price, which affects the index, eased by 8.7%. However, brokers were uncertain about the share's trend. "Slovakofarma has been swinging up and down, within a certain range, for weeks," Martina Rubesová of CA IB said.

"Thursday's session may tell us more. From today's point of view, Slovakofarma can move both in directions, as the volume of matched stocks was low," she said. Rubesová said the overall mood on the bourse remained bearish, with only a few investors demanding small packages of shares. But a lot of them were willing to sell their stocks. She attributed the situation to the upcoming general elections in Slovakia, scheduled for September 25 and 26.

"I don't think this mood on the BSE will change before the elections. Maybe only a few days before the poll, we will see some slightly increased activity on the market," she added. Overall volume, including direct trades registered at the bourse, rose to 3,301,716 shares from 474,296 shares traded on Tuesday. Turnover rose to 695.774 million Sk ($19.78 million) from 91.82 million.

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