ECONOMY

Investors dump blue chips on Schaeuble statement

Greek stocks retreated at the close on Thursday as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble damped optimism that Athens will get more time to reduce its debt, showing that the climate remains extremely fragile.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index closed 1.54 percent lower, at 629.69 points, with sell orders for blue chips, especially banks, dominating with high turnover in the last half hour of trading. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index was down 2.02 percent to 229.09 points.

National Bank dived 3.57 percent and Alpha Bank 4.86 percent. OTE telecom and gaming firm OPAP shed 1.92 and 3.18 percent respectively in high turnover. Coca-Cola HBC bucked the trend, edging up 0.42 percent. Public Power Corporation lost 6.20 percent. Turnover dipped to 26.4 million euros.