US subprime worries continue unabated

Deteriorating sentiment across European markets also spread to Greek stocks yesterday, erasing Wednesday’s gains. The worsening mood reflected continuing jitters from the crisis in the US subprime mortgage market, with more unfavorable announcements from BNP Paribas and Dutch investment bank NIBC. The seriousness of the situation led to injections of liquidity by the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve of -94.8 billion and $15 billion respectively. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 1.61 percent lower at 4,758.98 points, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was down 1.55 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 slumped 1.99 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index lost 1.77 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International declined 1.63 percent. The Public Power Corporation (PPC), with gains of 1.36 percent, was the only blue chip to stay afloat. Titan Cement tumbled 5.10 percent, Intralot slumped 4.34 percent, Viohalco shed 3.34 percent and Coca-Cola HBC was down 3.06 percent, despite announcing a 28 percent rise in first-half net profit. OPAP fell 2.20 percent, while Cosmote and National Bank were both down 1.94 percent. Turnover came to -416.39 million, of which -47.89 million was in block trades. OTE and National Bank accounted for -105.2 million.