ECONOMY

National Bank again leads market lower

Greek stocks came under strong pressure yesterday as the bourse’s top heavyweight and bellwether, National Bank, lost further considerable ground, closing at a nine-month low. Its fall weighed heavily on the market as a whole and all sectoral indices ended lower. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 1.98 percent, closing at 3,619.27 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index lost 2.36 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 slid 1.71 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 slipped 2.74 percent. Banks were 2.54 percent lower. Only the Postal Savings Bank outperformed the entire market at its debut, with gains of 11.84 percent. Motor Oil outperformed among blue chips with gains of 2.09 percent; Duty Free Shops added 0.46 percent; Hyatt gained 0.36 percent and Alpha Bank stayed afloat with 0.10 percent. In contrast, National Bank lost 6.98 percent; OPAP 3.81 percent; OTE 2.77 percent; Hellenic Petroleum and Titan 2.49 percent, and Piraeus Bank 2.26 percent. Healthcare was the biggest loser among sectoral indices, ending 4.11 percent lower. Turnover reached 286.13 million euros, of which about 120 million was accounted for by banks Postal Savings and National.