Blue chips feel imported pressure of credit crisis

Greek stocks dropped for a second day, with blue chips coming under strong pressure. National Bank and EFG Eurobank paced declines. Financial stocks declined across Europe after Morgan Stanley said the outlook for credit markets has worsened and Fortis reported profit that trailed analysts’ estimates. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index lost 1.46 percent, to 5,228.19 points as 43 stocks fell, 15 gained and two were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies slipped 1.65 percent to 2,789.21. The mid-cap and small-cap indices nudged lower 0.10 percent and 0.04 percent respectively. National Bank slumped 2.8 percent to -46.10, while Eurobank, the country’s second largest, dropped 2.6 percent to -26. Among other blue chips, OPAP lost 2.86 percent, Coca-Cola HBC dropped 2.71 percent and Hellenic Petroleum was 2.20 percent lower. Alpha Bank and Titan were also down more than 2 percent. Among lower capitalizations, FG Europe gained 0.7 percent to -2.85. Eurobank Securities rated the electric appliance distributor «market perform» in new coverage with a price estimate of -3. Also, Sidenor added 3.7 percent to -13.32. Greece’s biggest steelmaker announced after the close of trading that nine-month net profits increased by 37 percent. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)