ECONOMY

Banks lead in nearly 2 percent correction

Stocks skidded lower yesterday in what analysts said was a healthy correction, with banks, the lever behind the broader market’s recent rally, falling 3.15 percent as investors locked in gains. The Athens benchmark general index retraced 1.99 percent to 1,911.7 points. «It’s a good sign that the market is correcting. Banks were under pressure, though it’s to be expected that investors lock in gains after the sector gained about 50 percent without stopping for breath,» said analyst Elias Lazaris at Artion Securities. Bellwether National fell 3.51 percent to 15.38 euros. After the close of trade, Greece said it will not renew a bond convertible into National shares, meaning the State will resume possession of about 6.4 percent of National. Blue chips fell 2.41 percent to 958.3 points, while mid-caps lost 2.43 percent and small-caps fell 2.12 percent. Turnover rose to 213.53 million euros from Wednesday’s 199.21 million euros, with 56.4 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 269 to 64, with 30 shares unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)