ECONOMY

Market battered by heavy selling of banks

Stocks declined significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as investors sold aggressively, especially bank shares. The market initially followed European bourses downward, but failed to react when they rallied. The ASE compound share index closed at 4,178.26 points, a drop of 93.57 points or 2.19 percent, the steepest decline since July 17. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips declined 2.51 percent to close at 2,298.18 points, while mid-caps and small-caps fell 1.43 percent and 1.91 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International declined 2.30 percent, closing at 6,021.26 points. All 17 sectoral indices but one lost ground. The exception was media, which gained 0.10 percent. The biggest losers were insurance (down 3.70 percent), travel and leisure (2.88 percent) and banks (2.69 percent). Only two blue chips gained: metals group Viohalco (up 0.66 percent to 9.10 euros) and jewelry and accessories maker and retailer Folli-Follie (0.08 percent to 25.64 euros). The biggest losses were sustained by National Bank (down 3.40 percent to 35.20 euros), betting company OPAP (3.33 percent to 26.26 euros), Public Power Corporation (3.25 percent to 19.06 euros), Alpha Bank (3.02 percent to 23.76 euros) and mobile telecommunications company Cosmote (3.01 percent to 20 euros). Turnover reached 391.80 million euros, including 21.96 million in prearranged trades.