ECONOMY

Banks and OPAP keep dragging market lower

Greek stocks slid for the second straight session in thin trade yesterday, with the negative sentiment centered on blue chips but with small-caps holding their ground. Heavyweights OPAP and National Bank lost 0.74 percent and 1.80 percent respectively in high turnover. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended 0.94 percent lower at 3,818.79 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 declined 1.05 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 was 0.96 percent down and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 added 0.38 percent. Most sectoral indices ended in negative territory, with insurance and industrial products and services losing the most. Banks lost 1.30 percent. In contrast, health was 2.29 percent higher. Only three blue chips stayed afloat, Motor Oil (0.66 percent), Cosmote (0.33 percent) and Hyatt (0.18 percent). In contrast, Viohalco slipped 2.47 percent; Intracom shed 2.02 percent; Emporiki was 1.91 percent lower; Eurobank lost 1.24 percent and Alpha Bank slid 1.23 percent. Analysts said that apart from OPAP and National Bank, the correction so far is more of a technical nature and without substantial characteristics that could lead the market much lower.