China news tops spate of unfavorable factors

Greek stocks were pounded lower yesterday, mainly on news of the «mini-crash» in China, but more than other bourses abroad. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan’s prediction of a gradual slowdown in the US economy, and a higher-than-expected drop in US orders for durable goods in January added to the universal turmoil. Only eight of the 327 Greek stocks listed managed to stay afloat. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 4.05 percent, closing at 4,565.08 points from 4,757.77 on Monday. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index ended down 4.22 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 lost 4.10 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 closed 5 percent down. All blue chips tumbled, led by construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki, which dropped 7.30 percent. Bellwether National Bank sank 6.25 percent, metals group Viohalco plunged 5.79 percent, refiner Motor Oil slumped 5.75 percent and Coca-Cola HBC shed 5.19 percent. All sectoral indices headed south, with raw materials and technology hit especially hard, ending 7.27 percent and 6.59 percent lower respectively. Turnover soared to -709.99 million, of which -303 million was accounted for by banks National, Piraeus, Alpha and Eurobank.