ECONOMY

Stocks give up 3.9 pct as snap elections loom

The stock market regained its composure somewhat after Parliament’s widely anticipated failure to elect a new president and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s announcement of general elections next month, as losses of up to 11 percent in afternoon trade were reduced to less than 4 percent by the end of the first session after Christmas.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 819.81 points, shedding 3.91 percent from last Tuesday’s 867.84 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index contracted 3.46 percent to end at 266.11 points.

The reaction that contained losses to a normal level is seen as a move to keep the market on the traders’ radar for the time being before the outcome of the election on January 25 becomes clear.

All but three blue chips posted a decline, led by Terna Energy (down 8.92 percent), National Bank (7.74 percent) and Eurobank (7.73 percent), while Viohalco grew 5.62 percent and Piraeus Bank advanced 1.96 percent.

In total 23 stocks reported gains, 96 suffered losses and 13 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 124.7 million euros, more than twice last Tuesday’s 60.3 million.