ECONOMY

Quiet week sees further pessimism

The grim picture remained unchanged on the Greek bourse last week, despite the festive period, as the few transactions recorded sent the main index further down. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed on Wednesday at 1,722.76 points, which was 1.36 percent below the previous week’s closing. Turnover posted a dramatic decline, which was attributed to the holiday period that limited the trading week to just three days. The low turnover, decline in bank stocks, lack of corporate news and investors’ negative psychology are all pushing the Athens bourse toward the end of one of its worst years in the last decade. It may also be the first time in the last 20 years that stockbrokers, mutual fund managers and investors are not preparing for the new year nor setting investment targets, because they know that the international recession is likely to deepen with a direct effect on the country’s economy. The picture of the year’s last quarter, which will begin to emerge with financial reports of listed companies in late March, will confirm that several firms have taken heavy losses.