ECONOMY

Stocks dip on lack of consensus

Greek stocks fell on Friday on news that Prime Minister George Papandreou had failed to obtain a cross-party agreement on austerity measures, hurting investor sentiment.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index fell 1.71 percent to 1,264.92 points, reversing earlier gains. Stocks headed south when New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras rejected proposed tax increases to help reduce the budget deficit, arguing instead for tax cuts to revive economic growth.

Papandreou?s failure to get support from opposition parties casts a shadow of doubt over future aid payments.

European Union policymakers have demanded that Greek politicians reach a cross-party consensus on economic and fiscal reforms as a condition for providing more funding.

Alpha Bank fell 3.03 percent to 3.20 euros and Bank of Cyprus tumbled 5.19 percent to 2.01 euros. Hellenic Postbank gave up 4.51 percent at 2.75 euros and peer National eased 0.44 percent to 4.51 euros.

Betting company OPAP also underperformed, dipping 3.25 percent to 12.50 euros. Among the 42 stocks that rose was Hellenic Exchanges, which added 4.93 percent to 4.90 euros. Another 92 shares dipped while 55 were unchanged. Turnover reached 117.9 million euros.