Heavyweights waver ahead of Fed decision

Greek stocks fell in thin trade yesterday, led by OTE, the country’s biggest phone company, and National Bank. Investors appeared guarded ahead of today’s decision on interest rates by the US Federal Reserve. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index dropped 0.7 percent, to 4,487.15 points, as 32 of its 60 constituent stocks gained, 25 retreated and three were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies lost 0.6 percent to 2,366.86. The mid-cap index nudged lower and the small-cap index gained. OTE sank 3.1 percent to -21.32. National Bank, the country’s biggest, retreated 1.4 percent to -41.22. The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company dropped 1.4 percent. Marfin Investment Group led blue chip winners with 3.9 percent, followed by Viohalco with 1.8 percent and Alpha Bank with 0.9 percent. Piraeus Port Authority rallied 3.9 percent. The government said it will offer dockworkers early retirement, discounted shares in port companies and jobs for their children to overcome labor union opposition to private managers for the country’s two biggest ports. Turnover fell to -243.1 million. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)