The Freedom Union chose Karel Kühnl as its candidate for the leader of the four-party coalition. His opponents will be Jaroslav Kopřiva (KDU-ČSL) and Michael Žantovský (ODA).
Shoppers announced that pre-Christmas shopping this year significantly exceeded consumers’ spending in previous year. Retail sales increased by 6.1%, y-o-y, in October. Selling well in October were motor vehicles, cosmetics and chemist's goods (year-on-year constant price sales index 109.8 for all), high dynamics was recorded for sales relating to air transport (130.6), supporting and auxiliary transport activities (121.3) and communications (120.8). Sales in non-specialized stores with food prevailing remained unchanged. Nevertheless, pre-Christmas shopping heat will be apparent in November and especially in December figures.
Komerční banka gets slender. At the end of October 2000 employees were laid off. Other 500 employees should be laid off until the end of the year.
The Czech koruna recovered from an early dip against the euro on Friday, boosted by technical factors in an illiquid market. The koruna was trading at 34.69 late on Friday from 34.84 on Thursday. The koruna/dollar exchange rate rose to 38.65 on Friday from 39.23 late on Thursday.
Bonds were rather steady on Friday. After very busy Thursday, when prices jumped up massively, a minor correction has come at the end of the week. One could only wonder what will be going on in the last four days of trading, we suppose some positions, either long and short, will have to be liquidated in those days. However, the market will probably not move a lot, even Thursday's trade balance should not cause much action.
Current benchmark prices: MoF 6.75/05 99.40-70 (-20 bps), MoF 6.30/07 95.40-70 (-20 bps), MoF 6.40/10 93.65-95 (-20 bps).