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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 2, 2008
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Food for Thought
April 2, 2008 By Michal Jeziorski   
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The Warsaw Stock Exchange gave investors a headache and some food for thought as its key indices alternately went up and down throughout March. The WIG20 blue-chip index hovered between 2,670 points-its lowest level since Black Monday, Jan. 20-and 3,000.

As listed companies released their financial data for last year, many of them disappointed investors toward the end of the month because their figures turned out to be worse than expected. These included Bioton and Jutrzenka in particular. Investors also began to dump BRE Bank stock after the bank's main shareholder unexpectedly decided to replace the management. Mining companies continued their slide as raw materials and metals, including oil and gold, went down in price. Financial institutions followed suit after Credit Suisse unveiled its pessimistic forecasts for them this year. Among the largest companies, oil and gas giant PGNiG did quite well as investors expected an increase in the price of natural gas.

The market rose sharply after Easter as investors here tried to catch up with developments on American stock exchanges, which stayed open for business longer than the Warsaw bourse over the Easter holidays. Initially, the upward trend in the United States and the rest of the world sent Warsaw shares soaring, but then America's Bear Stearns bank reported a radical decline in financial liquidity, which was enough to cause ripples on global markets within just 24 hours-illustrating the extent to which international markets depend on what happens in the United States.

However, the latest upward trend on the WSE is likely to continue in early April, driven by banks, which analysts say have become strongly undervalued over the past few weeks.
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