ECONOMY

Banks lead blue chips in weighing market down

Blue chips stayed under pressure for the third straight day on the local stock market yesterday, despite a slight improvement in sentiment on other European markets. Small-caps recorded small gains. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed down 1.01 percent at 3,517.38 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index shed 1.15 percent; the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 fell 0.54 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 edged up 0.22 percent. Most sectoral indices headed south, with insurance recording the largest losses (down 1.92 percent), followed by travel & leisure (1.75 percent). Banks were down 1.16 percent. Technology outperformed for the second day running with gains of 1.82 percent. Among blue chips, heavyweight banks National and Alpha declined 2.16 percent and 1.60 percent respectively. ATEbank tumbled 2.58 percent, OPAP 2.32 percent, Viohalco 2.25 percent, Cosmote was 1.74 percent lower and OTE 1.88 percent. In contrast, Duty Free Shops outperformed with gains of 3.51 percent, Intracom climbed 3.24 percent, Eurobank gained 0.68 percent and Motor Oil added 0.10 percent. Turnover fell further to 274.90 million euros, of which 117.1 million was accounted for by the four most marketable shares, banks National and Piraeus, OPAP and Hellenic Exchanges.