Gloom sinks stocks for eighth day

Investor anxiety regarding the outlook for Greek banks combined with heightened insecurity on foreign markets on Wednesday to drive Greek stocks sharply lower for an eighth straight session. This was in tandem with bourses abroad, hit by speculation about a further deterioration in trade relations with Russia and news that Italy is back in recession.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) sank 2.66 percent, closing at 1,094.51 points and compounding losses of 9.97 percent in the last eight sessions.

Large-caps, especially banks, bore the brunt of the correction, with their index shedding 2.84 percent. Mid-caps were down 1.74 percent. The banks index plunged 5.71 percent to 138 points, led by Piraeus, which crashed 11.27 percent lower. Eurobank and Alpha Bank were 5.58 percent and 4.50 percent lower respectively. National Bank, which as of Thursday replaces Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo in the Stoxx Global 1800 and Stoxx Europe 600, shed 1.76 percent. OTE telecom lost 2.54 percent. In contrast, betting firm OPAP gained 0.68 percent. Turnover soared to 252.14 million euros, of which 74 percent was accounted for by banks, mainly National and Piraeus.