Commercial’s steep slide affects market

Stocks fell more than 1 percent yesterday to a new year-low, with steep losses in banks triggering across-the-board selling. Commercial Bank took heavy losses, falling 6.69 percent to 13.12 euros, one day before the bank lists about 480,000 shares tomorrow arising from a stock option plan to staff given at a hefty discount. Commercial Bank announced that employees received 479,888 stock options last year at 5 euros per share. «It’s hard for the market to shake off weak sentiment when you have a large-cap like Commercial falling so much,» a trader said. Banks dropped 2.55 percent, while the general index fell 1.30 percent to 1,667.67 points. Blue chips fell 1.31 percent to 819.83 points. Mid-caps lost 1.83 percent, while small-caps dropped 1.95 percent. Turnover was 54.15 million euros, with 13.6 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 253 to 54, with 43 shares unchanged on 350 traded. (Reuters)