Banks surge but bourse sinks lower

A rebound in bank shares failed to avert a further slide for the Athens stock market’s general index on Thursday in a session described as an exciting slogging match between buyers and sellers.

The banks index gained 4.17 percent to 144 points, led by Piraeus (7.94 percent) and buttressed by National Bank (3.14 percent), Eurobank (3.62 percent) and Alpha (2.09 percent).

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) edged 0.25 percent lower, closing at 1,090.82 points.

Large-caps were 0.16 percent higher but mid-caps lost 1.44 percent. OTE telecom lost 2.54 percent.

Analysts are not excluding a further correction to a new year-low of around 1,063 points, fearing more negative domestic factors than international ones. Foreign investors are scaling back their positions not only in banks but also in resistant stocks such as OTE and Public Power Corporation. OTE was 1.36 percent lower but PPC gained 0.87 percent. Coca-Cola HBC plunged 5.33 percent after announcing its Q2 results but betting firm OPAP was up 0.42 percent. Advancers beat decliners 65 to 38.

Turnover totaled 127.76 million euros.