ECONOMY

ECB injection boosts market

The Greek bourse shook off pressure earlier in the week to close on Friday with moderate gains on the previous week. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index gained 0.24 percent on a weekly basis, closing last Friday at 5,109.82 points, up from 5,097.51 points a week earlier. The cash injection from the European Central Bank went a long way toward reducing turbulence in European stock markets last week, just four sessions before the end of the year. As for the Athens market, the week was dominated by a subdued atmosphere and lack of corporate news while all major credit groups have completed their reports and are preparing for the first sessions of the new year. Investment interest centered last week on the stocks of the National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, OTE telecom and the Public Power Corporation (PPC). It is clear that the local market cannot withstand pressures coming from abroad, particularly due to the months-long crisis of the US subprime mortgage market. An Emporiki Bank report published last week suggested that there are three possible scenarios for the course of the general index of the local bourse. The moderate one says that the index will manage to reach a new high of 5,450 points, but in the medium term a decline down to 4,650 points is possible. This scenario is based on continued low turnover and is the most likely one. The second, which is the most optimistic, has a floor of 4,960 points and a ceiling of 5,800 points. Finally, the most pessimistic scenario sees the index dipping below the 4,700-point level, accompanied by a rise in turnover. It could fall as low as 4,300 points.