Rising euro, oil prices spread gloom wide

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index fell for a second day yesterday, losing 108.25, or 2.5 percent, to 4,208.34, as the rising euro and oil prices spread gloom in bourses far and wide. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 Index of the country’s biggest companies dropped 3.3 percent to 2,172.71. Viohalco and Titan were the only blue chips to hold their own, gaining 1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively. The banks sectoral index shed most, 4.1 percent. Bank of Cyprus lost -1.10, or 11.7 percent, to -8.30, its biggest decline since November 2002. The company reported yesterday after the close of trading profit and forecasts that fell short of analysts’ estimates. Gaming monopoly OPAP retreated 30 cents, or 1.3 percent, to -22.50, falling for the third time this week. The European Commission sent a final warning to Greece yesterday for barring foreign betting companies from competing with home-grown monopolies. Gaming software Intralot, an OPAP supplier, slumped 6 percent. Marfin Popular Bank tumbled 9.8 percent. Teletypos rose 8 cents, or 1.5 percent, to -5.56, bringing its gain this year to 23 percent. Greece’s biggest free-to-air television broadcaster said profit doubled last year as sales increased. Net income rose to -12 million from -5.7 million a year earlier. Turnover soared to -687.7 million. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)