ATHEX falls in line with foreign bourses

Greek stocks headed south en masse yesterday, in line with bourses abroad after Wall Street’s heavy retreat on Friday. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 5,119.77 points, with a loss of 1.36 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index was down 1.54 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX 40 mid-cap index declined 1.40 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index fell 2.16 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International was down 1.55 percent. Industrial products and services and utilities were hit hardest. Among blue chips, only Cosmote and Coca-Cola HBC held their own, gaining 0.83 percent and 0.20 percent respectively. By contrast, Postal Savings Bank led decliners, closing 2.70 percent lower after Citigroup cut its recommendation from «buy» to «hold.» Public Power Corporation slumped 2.32 percent, Marfin Popular Bank fell 2.31 percent and banks Emporiki and National were 2.29 percent and 2.20 percent down respectively. Analysts said forecasting the short-term trend was impossible as the downward pressure, particularly on blue chips, was imported and domestic managers only followed the moves of foreign portfolios. Turnover came to -406.39 million, of which -57.19 million was in block trades. The total capitalization of the ATHEX fell to -196.58 billion.