ECONOMY

Investors offload bank shares in volatile session

Stocks declined for a second session in a row on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, in a volatile session marked by slightly lower but still heavy turnover. The ASE general index closed at 2,912.87 points, a decline of 7.06 points or 0.24 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips lost 0.40 percent to close at 1,606.44 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.23 percent and 0.18 percent respectively. Bank stocks were among those unloaded by investors locking in short-term profits, especially Emporiki and Alpha Bank, which declined 3.36 percent and 2.55 percent respectively. National Bank dropped 1.08 percent, to 25.58 euros, while EFG Eurobank gained 1.05 percent, to 25 euros. Some blue chips bucked the trend: Construction group Hellenic Technodomiki TEV gained 3.67 percent, to close at 4.52 euros; state betting agency OPAP gained 1.66 percent, closing at 20.88 euros; and metals group Viohalco closed at 6.96 euros after gaining 1.05 percent. Holding companies topped gainers among sectoral indices by rising 1.92 percent. Within the sector, Hellenic Exchanges, the ASE’s parent company, gained 2.70 percent. By contrast, basic metals dropped 1.91 percent. Of 356 traded stocks, 96 gained, 186 declined and 74 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 242.22 million euros.