Banks, OPAP mitigate the general decline

Resistance to the general decline by certain blue chips such as OPAP, Piraeus Bank, EFG Eurobank and National Bank helped stocks eventually post smaller losses than those seen during the day. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index declined by 0.68 percent to reach 4,884.07 points yesterday from 4,917.50 points on Tuesday. Yet in mid-session the index showed losses as low as 2.55 percent, falling below the 4,800-point mark. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index shrank by 0.35 percent to 2,610.62 points. The FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 lost 1.86 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index dropped by 1.57 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International fell by 0.59 percent to close at 7,020.95 points. Most blue chips declined, with Viohalco losing a significant 5.15 percent and Postal Savings Bank falling 4.17 percent. Alpha bank also declined (2.72 percent), despite the announcement of better-than-forecast first-half net profit figures. OPAP had the greatest gains with a 3.70 percent rise. All but two sectoral indices moved lower, led by industrial products and services (down 3.33 percent) and personal and household goods (3.09 percent). Travel and entertainment rose by 1.53 percent. Turnover came to -656.77 million, of which -148.87 million involved block trades.