Blue chips spread the blues across the board

Greek stocks came under strong selling pressure yesterday – the fifth consecutive session of losses – amidst negative sentiment in European bourses. The Athens Stock Exchange general index lost 103.89 points, or 2.47 percent, falling to 4,102.05. Besides the negative international climate, a strong factor behind the selling run was investors’ search for liquidity ahead of the listing of the Postal Savings Bank on the bourse and National Bank’s planned large-share capital increase. All capitalizations were almost equally affected. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 index dropped 2.51 percent, the FTSE/Athex Mid-40 shed 2.71 percent and the FTSE/Athex Small-Cap 80 ended 2.43 percent lower. Only two sectoral indices, construction/materials and commerce, managed to stay afloat. Travel/leisure, oil/gas and raw materials sustained the heaviest losses. Among blue chips, Titan outperformed with gains of 3 percent. In contrast, many suffered mini-crashes, notably Piraeus Bank (down 5.53 percent), Motor Oil (4.84 percent), OPAP (4.47 percent) and ATEbank (4.28 percent). OTE, Viohalco, National Bank and Intracom all lost more than 3 percent. Turnover totaled 371.72 million euros, of which 127.7 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities, OPAP and banks Eurobank, National and Aspis.