ECONOMY

Light trade forecast for shorter week

Investors face a holiday-shortened trading week that is expected to see light trade but possibly also a modest year-end rally on major international equity markets, according to analysts. «Right now, most traders are straining to see if Santa Claus shows up on Wall Street, as he normally does, just ahead of Christmas bringing a modest year-end rally,» said Frederic Dickson, chief market strategist of DA Davidson & Co, AFP reported. On Friday, the Athens Exchange’s benchmark general index eased 0.39 percent to 1,731.63 points. The index has lost some 65 percent in the last year. Last week, Merrill Lynch said European banks face another «very tough» year in 2009, and lowered its rating in lenders National and Alpha to neutral and underperform – they had previously been rated at buy and neutral, respectively. The Athens bourse will be closed on Thursday and Friday due to the Christmas holiday.