Banks lead blue chips down, bucking trends

Greek stocks stayed southbound for a fourth day, bucking trends abroad. Mid-caps bore the brunt of liquidations. The Athens Exchange general index dropped 0.70 percent to 4,960.31 points. The FTSE/ ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies slipped 0.55 percent, to 2,633.89. The respective mid-cap and small-cap indices shed 1.66 percent and 0.83 percent respectively. The Cypriot General Index advanced 0.9 percent to 4,852.39. Three banks led the blue chip decliners. Eurobank was down 1.96 percent, Piraeus shed 1.88 percent and National fell 1.58 percent. By contrast, Bank of Cyprus advanced 2.37 percent, Hellenic Petroleum added 1.68 percent, Public Power Corporation ended 1.52 percent higher and Coca-Cola HBC rose 1.24 percent. Viohalco declined 1.2 percent. The metal producer said nine-month net income fell 2 percent to -80 million. Fourlis dropped further, by 3.5 percent, as Deutsche Bank followed Citigroup in cutting its recommendation on the holder of the IKEA franchise in Greece to «hold» from «buy.» Hellenic Bank gained 3.3 percent. The third-largest lender in Cyprus said profit in the first nine months of the year tripled on higher lending and lower provisions. Turnover totaled -637.10 million. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)