Banks bounce back but fail to save the day
The rebound of heavyweight National Bank from recent sharp drops proved insufficient to put the Greek bourse as a whole back on a winning track yesterday. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended 0.48 percent lower at 3.505.57 points after plunging sharply in early trading and bouncing back to a gain of 0.30 percent during the session. Bullish banks limited losses for the market as a whole and helped the blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index add 0.09 percent. The FTSE/ASE Mid-40 lost 0.37 percent and small-caps gained 0.41 percent. Only four of the 17 sectoral indices headed north. Banks led, ending 1.89 percent higher. Alpha Bank erased Tuesday’s heavy losses by surging 4.46 percent, National Bank advanced 2.48 percent, Eurobank added 1.35 percent and ATEbank 0.53 percent. Other blue chips headed south: Folli Follie lost 3.92 percent, OPAP 3.15 dropped 3.15 percent, Motor Oil was down 3.12 percent, Hellenic Petroleum 3 percent, Titan 2.90 percent, OTE telecom 3.15 percent and Coca-Cola HBC 2.52 percent. Turnover totaled 382.7 million euros, of which 130.2 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities, banks Alpha and National, OPAP and Postal Savings Bank.