ECONOMY

Gloom lingers, turnover falls

The gloom continued in the Greek market last week, with analysts unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed on Friday at 4,066.03 points, down by 3.87 percent from the previous week’s close of 4,229.89 points. Any hopes for a reversal of the market’s direction rest with foreign investors, which shows the extent to which the Greek bourse is swayed by imported funds. There is no sign whatsoever of a local response, despite the publication of first-quarter results this month. It will take a shock for the local market to rebound amid the bearish international mood and the first sessions of the new week will be crucial if the general index is to avoid dropping below the psychologically important 4,000-point level. Fewer than 50 stocks have held their ground since the start of the year, which shows the extent of the market’s devaluation. Even worse, the losses for about 75 stocks exceed 30 percent of their value, and that includes major stocks such as banking groups and other healthy enterprises. The overall losses of the general index since the start of the year have reached 21.49 percent. It is no coincidence that last week, too, blue chips took the worst battering, with their FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dropping by 4.68 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index shed only 1.18 percent of its value. Another significant development is the decline in daily turnover on the Athens bourse compared with last year. In the first four months of this year the average figure stood at 412.98 million euros, down by 6.25 percent from 440.55 million euros in the same period last year.