Shares end nine-session slide by staying put

Equities pulled the brake on a nine-session losing streak by ending flat yesterday, but the benchmark general index failed to recapture the 2,500-point mark and move away from oversold levels. Brokers said some selling pressure came from portfolio reshuffling ahead of 2001 results but added that investors largely remained on the sidelines as volumes remained low. «It was a disappointing session. Investors failed to step in even after the market’s recent slide,» said Annie Triantafyllou, head analyst at National Securities. The Athens benchmark general index ended up 0.01 percent at 2,494.91 points, after reaching an intrasession high of 2,514.51 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips firmed 0.12 percent to 1,357.47 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps firmed 0.19 percent and the FTSE/ASE-80 of small-caps gained 0.12 percent. «Again, we did not track foreign markets. It looks like investors now are waiting for some local market news rather than following international trends,» said another broker. Total turnover was 86.19 million euros on volume of 14.7 million shares. (Reuters) Moody’s Investor Service yesterday affirmed the Baa3/Prime-3/D= ratings of General Bank of Greece, following last week’s resignation of its top management team, brought about by political desire to replace the bank’s general manager. The ratings affirmation is based on Moody’s understanding that the new management will not materially alter the bank’s strategic direction and that the search for a strategic partner will not be delayed.

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