ECONOMY

Late buying trims losses on Athens bourse

Late session buying helped trim losses on the Athens bourse on Monday as the broader market gave up 0.40 percent.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index ended at 1,576.86 points after dipping to as low as

1,543 points in intra session trade, underperforming advancing European peers.

The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index fell by 0.93 percent to end at 734.35 points. Banks slumped 2.42 percent led by a 1.60 percent drop in National Bank (NBG) to 6.78 euros. Alpha Bank, the country?s third largest lender, fell 1.84 percent to 4.80 euros.

Bank of Cyprus slumped 8.50 percent to 2.80 euros after reporting a two percent drop in earnings for 2010.

The bank, Cyprus? largest lender, said full-year group profit dropped to 306 million euros, from 313 million in the previous year.

The Nicosia-based bank had previously forecast full-year profit at between 300 million euros and 400 million euros.

Buyers turned to OTE telecom which advanced 3.33 percent to 7.45 euros and betting company OPAP which advanced 2.58 percent to 15.13 euros. Power company PPC retreated 1.32 percent to 11.21 euros.

Turnover reached 137.4 million euros