Geopolitical jitters erase majority of recent gains

Greek stocks tumbled yesterday as geopolitical jitters sent oil prices again higher. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed most of the gains of the previous four days, ending 2.22 percent lower at 3,616.59 points. Analysts note that given the lack of important business news, the ASE is bound to be subject to international volatility and fall even lower if this continues. All capitalization indices slid more than 2 percent, and all 17 sectoral indices headed south, led by technology (-5.44 percent). Banks slumped 2.35 percent. Among the blue chips on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, Intracom headed 6.32 percent lower, while Alpha Bank, Viohalco, Hellenic Technodomiki and Motor Oil each tumbled by more than 3 percent. ATEbank, National, Eurobank, Piraeus, Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Petroleum, OTE and Titan all shed more than 2 percent. Only Hyatt managed to stay afloat. Turnover totaled 248.78 million euros, of which 120.2 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities, banks National, Alpha and Piraeus and OPAP. Analysts take the view that the technical picture now looks much gloomier, especially should the general index slip below 3,490 points.