ECONOMY

Euro deflation, exit talk take toll on stocks

The return of deflation to the eurozone and continued talk about a possible Greek exit from the economic and monetary union inflicted fresh losses on local stocks on Wednesday, although these were contained to less than 1.5 percent for the benchmark – from over 3.5 percent earlier in the day – marking a new 26-month low.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 777.70 points, shedding 1.46 percent from Monday’s 789.20 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index contracted 1.49 percent to end at 248.94 points, while small-caps expanded 1.04 percent.

The prospect of more daring action by the European Central Bank in the next couple of weeks will likely help stocks to limit losses this week, while conflicting comments from abroad on Greece’s future in the common currency blur the picture further.

Eurobank led the effort to contain bourse losses, adding 5.14 percent, with Piraeus Port Authority growing 3.90 percent. Ellaktor fell 5.50 percent, National Bank lost 5.11 percent and EYDAP declined 5.09 percent.

In total 46 stocks enjoyed gains, 61 sustained losses and 15 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 121.2 million euros, against Monday’s 60.6 million.