Banks rebound but fail to prop up ASE index

Greek stocks slid, though only slightly, for the sixth consecutive day yesterday, in a session where rebounding heavyweight banks failed to prop up the rest of the market. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended just 0.03 percent down at 2,833.08 points, after diving to 2,797.27 points during the session. The banks sectoral index outperformed, advancing 1.24 percent on the strength of gains by Alpha (2.84 percent) and National (1.74 percent). Among other sectoral indices, only IT equipment solutions and holdings managed to stay afloat. Construction suffered the heaviest losses (down 1.81 percent). Telecoms lost 1.14 percent, with OTE ending 1.26 percent lower. Other prominent blue chip decliners were Titan Cement (2.22 percent) and OPAP (1.30 percent). The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index gained 0.37 percent, but the mid- and small-cap indices shed 0.72 and 0.76 percent respectively. Forty share prices reached new 52-week lows. Decliners outnumbered advancers 201 to 63, while 67 share prices remained unchanged. Turnover was up 9.49 percent to 174.7 million euros. Analysts said the rebound of heavyweight Alpha and National banks indicated activity by large players with high liquidity.