Weak banks drag stocks to new 5-yr low

Equities stumbled yesterday with another bank earnings disappointment keeping up the pressure on the sector and the broader market. Commercial Bank lost 4.35 percent to end at 11.88 euros, its second consecutive year-low after its earnings came in below market expectations. The general index eased 0.37 percent to 1,617.37 points, a fresh five-year low. «Investors are digesting results and the pressure is still on banks. That spilled over across the board today with only telecoms holding up blue chips,» said head analyst Vassilis Vlastarakis at Contalexis Securities. Heavyweight National Bank lost 1.62 percent to reach a new year-low of 10.94 euros. Blue chips eased 0.32 percent while telecom stocks fell 0.99 percent. Mid-caps shed 0.32 percent and small-caps lost 0.22 percent. Total turnover was 65.4 million euros, with 19.2 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 168 to 122 with 64 shares unchanged on 354 traded. (Reuters)