Gloomy eurozone data drive ATHEX lower

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index declined for the first time in three days of trade, dropping 2.3 percent to 4,389.34 points, in line with other European bourses after the announcement of negative macroeconomic data in the eurozone. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies lost 2.3 percent to 2,315.05. Several heavyweights slumped. Public Power Corporation fell for a third day, declining 5.5 percent, to -29.12. The labor unionists of Greece’s biggest power producer on February 2 stopped the company from meeting to discuss plans to cooperate with companies including RWE AG. Coca-Cola HBC dropped 4.5 percent, National Bank tumbled 4.3 percent and Alpha Bank shed 3.1 percent. Among the lower capitalizations, veterinary drugs maker Alapis gained 3.1 percent, to -2.01, its highest close since January 18. Morgan Stanley raised its price estimate on the stock to -3.88 from -3.83. Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens bourse, fell for the first time in four days, declining 3.6 percent, to -22.50. Owners of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange said yesterday they expect the sale of a controlling stake to be completed by as early as May. Hellenic said in November it plans to bid for a stake in the bourse. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)