Blue chips take brunt of imported jitters

Greek stocks hit a low for the year in turnover yesterday, closing near the day’s lows as blue chips especially continued displaying weakness in the midst of jitters on foreign markets. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended 1.02 percent lower at 4,842.65 points, while the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index fell 1.08 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 dropped 0.50 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index slipped 0.19 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International lost 0.98 percent. Only two blue chips managed to stay afloat: Hellenic Petroleum, which advanced 1.14 percent, and Piraeus Bank with gains of 0.39 percent. Coca-Cola HBC led losers, tumbling 2.91 percent, while Viohalco slumped 2.68 percent, Alpha Bank was down 2.33 percent and OPAP declined 2.20 percent. Cosmote, Hellenic Technodomiki, National Bank and the Postal Savings Bank all ended more than 1 percent leaner. Turnover slumped to -247.72 million, of which -22 million was in block trades. Analysts consider it almost certain that continuing anxiety from developments on the US and UK housing loan markets and the rising price of oil will sustain a gloomy sentiment in foreign markets and inevitably affect the Greek bourse in the short term, at least.