ATHEX ends lower on bank share sell-off

ATHEX ends lower on bank share sell-off

Turmoil in emerging markets caused by economic woes in Turkey and Argentina, and a strain on Greek bonds after Italian government paper came under selling pressure, pushed the Athens Exchange lower on Thursday.

The banking index was in negative territory throughout the session, despite HSBC’s upgrade of the Greek sector to “buy.”

The ATHEX general index ended at 739.70 points, down 0.44 percent from Wednesday’s 742.96 points.

The large-cap index gave up 0.48 percent and mid-caps lost 1.51 percent, while banks retreated 1.64 percent. Turnover came to 31.59 million euros.

Friday’s session will be the last of the month, ending a difficult summer for the stock exchange, with September expected to be just as tough due to tension in international markets.

Loukas Papaioannou, an economist with Fast Finance, says that the market continues to be cautious, as investors await statements from the Euro Working Group that will show the intentions of Greece’s creditors; the speech by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Thessaloniki International Fair that will show whether the government intends to implement agreed reforms or stray from the path; the restructuring of the MSCI index that may affect capital flows in the Greek stock market; and six-month results from listed companies.

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