Iraq concerns take toll on stock market

The turmoil in Iraq sent most European markets into sharp retreat on Friday, and with a benchmark drop of almost 3 percent, the local bourse was no exception. Investors have clearly been far more reserved since the crisis in the oil-rich country erupted earlier this week.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,270.69 points, its lowest in the last six sessions, after giving up 2.78 percent from Thursday’s 1,307.08 points.

Friday’s losses pushed the index into negative territory on a weekly basis, as it was down 2.64 percent on last Friday’s closing.

The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 25 declined 2.90 percent to close at 410.74 points, while small-caps inched 0.32 percent lower.

The only blue chips to head north were Coca-Cola HBC (up 0.23 percent) and EYDAP (0.21 percent), while the losers were led by Hellenic Exchanges (down 4.95 percent), the OPAP gaming company (4.78 percent), Terna Energy (4.53 percent), Piraeus Bank (4.49 percent) and Eurobank (4.21 percent).

In total 36 stocks reported gains, 97 sustained losses and 10 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 148.5 million euros, up from Thursday’s 134.7 million.