Bearish mood propels stocks into new decline

Stocks on the Greek bourse continued their slide yesterday, as the international climate continued to aggravate and first-quarter results of locally listed companies still failed to bolster investors’ moods. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 4,066.03 points yesterday from 4,093.72 on Thursday, a drop of 0.68 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index fell by 0.75 percent, reaching 2,134.37 points. The mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index declined by 0.44 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index fell by just 0.02 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International lost 0.71 percent to close at 5,662.83 points. The blue chip listing with the greatest losses was Marfin Popular Bank (down 8.13 percent), whose shares traded without the right to a dividend payment of 35 cents each on 2007 earnings. It was followed by Alpha Bank (4.56 percent) and Motor Oil (2.96 percent). Bucking the trend were OTE telecom (up 2.13 percent), Public Power Corporation (1.87 percent) and Piraeus Bank (0.67 percent). The Piraeus Port Authority fell 2.5 percent after announcing a loss for the first quarter. The stock dropped 60 cents to 23.70 euros, giving the company a market value of 592 million euros. Turnover amounted to 253.5 million euros, of which 26.4 million euros concerned block trades. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)