ECONOMY

Week of unrest on the market

High volatility in international markets was the main feature of the first week of November, taking the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index to 5,148.13 points, a decline of 2.58 percent from the previous week’s closing. Up to the Wednesday session, the local market had shown signs of resistance to foreign pressures. From then on, though, there were significant losses, as foreign portfolios proceeded to the liquidation of blue chips positions, particularly in the banking sector. This picture is not expected to change considerably in the new week if the negative climate persists in Europe and the USA. Yet observers do note that the third-quarter results of listed companies, to be completed by the month’s end, will operate as a cushion to pressures from foreign portfolios. One of the most notable developments of the week was the decision by the governor of the Bank of Greece to abolish the ceiling of 1 million euros per customer for the supply of credit from credit institutions and stock market members so as to make stock transactions. Hellenic Exchanges announced that in the first 10 months of the year, the inflows of foreign capital reached -5.46 billion, confirming the interest foreign funds have shown for the local market over the last four years. After the «break» in September, when foreign investors opted to sell due to market unrest internationally from the subprime mortgage crisis, they returned in October, taking their stake in the Athens stock market to 52.71 percent from 51.8 percent in September.