Equities slide on weak bank results

Equities lost 1 percent yesterday with financials continuing to bleed after some of the sector’s largest players disappointed with their 2002 dividends last week, fueling fears other banks may follow suit. National Bank fell 1.18 percent to 11.76 euros, a new year-low, after dropping 2.6 percent on Friday. Greece’s second largest bank, Alpha, shed 1.97 percent to 10.94 euros. Heavyweight banks shed 1.72 percent, while the Athens bourse benchmark general index ended off 1.01 percent at 1,663.52 points. Blue chips retreated 1.17 percent to 821.52 points and telecoms finished down 0.67 percent. «Given the current sentiment, the market needs stronger news and bigger surprises to react,» said Vassilis Theodorou, head analyst at P&K Securities. Mid-caps fell 1.35 percent while small-caps lost 1.81 percent. Turnover was 52.01 million euros, with 13.3 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 261 to 46 with 44 shares unchanged on 351 traded. (Reuters)

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