Banks hit as investor confidence stays low

The Greek stock market yesterday ignored both the European Central Bank’s decision to leave its key rate unchanged and the positive climate in other European bourses. Small-caps gained amid subdued buying interest which saw the heavyweight banks sectoral index lead others lower. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was 0.41 percent down at 3,605.11 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index shed 0.67 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 index was 0.31 percent lower and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 gained 0.51 percent. Most sectoral indices headed north, led by technology and industrial products and services. Banks slipped 1.04 percent. Alpha Bank was the hardest-hit blue chip, dropping 2.30 percent, while ATEbank, National Bank, Cosmote and OPAP were all more than 1 percent down. Emporiki, Eurobank, Piraeus, Duty Free Shops and Folli Follie also headed south. In contrast, Viohalco, Intracom, Coca-Cola HBC, OTE and the Public Power Corporation all added more than 1 percent. Germanos, Hyatt, Hellenic Petroleum, Motor Oil and Titan also gained. Turnover rose but remained low, at 184.79 million euros, of which 87.1 was accounted for the four most marketable securities, National Bank, OPAP, Forthnet and Alpha Bank.