ECONOMY

Stock drop led by bank decline

The Athens bourse continued to head southward yesterday, losing 1.55 percent, as banks fell to fresh lows. The Athens Exchange’s benchmark general index ended at 1,521.49 points, after touching on an intra-session low of 1,511 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index lost 2.33 percent to close at 754.74 points. Bank shares retreated for the 13th straight session. National Bank lost 4.08 percent to 9.40 euros while Alpha Bank, which reported better-than-expected earnings for 2008 on Tuesday, gave up 2.64 percent to end at 4.42 euros. OTE telecom also ranked among the losers, dropping 4.84 percent to 9.84 euros. Turnover reached 102.8 million euros versus 92.9 million euros in the previous session.