ECONOMY

Vicious cycle feeds worries on bourse

The Greek stock market has fallen to a new six-year low after another negative week, with most stocks moving southward and with turnover continuing to shrink. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,474.35 points, posting a significant 4 percent decline from previous week’s close. The ground is open for profiteering, which, at present, seems to be the only motive for the traders who make the market move in Athens. The international financial crisis now appears to be systemic, with foreign portfolios still causing shock waves on the local bourse. Stocks remain trapped in a vicious cycle of isolation, fed by the negative reports by foreign agencies about the Greek economy and the exposure of Greek banks in the Balkans and Southeast Europe. At the same time, listed companies are at the start of a rocky road this year, with significant shifts expected in market shares, along with profit reductions and the prospect of loss-making years ahead. Investors feel trapped and are desperate to find a way out.