Blue chip losses pushed the Bratislava Stock Exchange's (BSE) official SAX index down 2.43 points to a record low of 131.10 on April 22. After a dull week of trading, during which the index managed to struggle up off the canvas, losses to oil refiner Slovnaft dealt it another knock out blow - 130.67 - on April 30. Dealers were unable to predict any upcoming trends, saying the future was clouded by thin trading.
A 4.3 percent drop in the average price of Slovnaft, the most heavily-capitalized issue on the BSE, was at the heart of the index's fall on April 30. Slovnaft closed down 35 crowns at 780, but only 28 shares traded.
On April 22, Slovnaft had lost 4.8 percent, while another blue chip, oil and gas storage firm Nafta, eased 34 crowns to 716 at the close, having traded 24 shares.
Brokers said it was hard to predict any future trend in the issues due to low volumes of traded stocks, a problem which has long plagued the bourse. "From a long-term point of view, the prices in Slovnaft and Nafta would probably only barely remain at their previous [higher] levels," said Martina Rubešová of CA IB Securities. "However, it is impossible to see the current trend now because of low traded volumes there."
Steel maker VSŽ firmed by 18 crowns to close at 428 on April 22, trading 49 shares. "We are awaiting the company's AGM in May," Rubešová said.
Overall volume, including direct trades, was 137,720 shares on April 22 and 230,844 shares on April 30. Turnover on both days was very low, at 194.11 million crowns on April 22 and 30.56 million on the last day of the month.