Banks weigh on Greek stocks

Greek stocks fell 1.72 percent yesterday, dragged lower by bank losses as investors locked in recent gains in financials, brokers said. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,339.66 points, underperforming weak performances on European bourses. Banks, which have gained over 21 percent in the last month, lost 3.11 percent. Brokers said talk of lenders possibly following in the footsteps of National and tapping the market for liquidity in a rights issue was also putting pressure on the sector. Alpha Bank slumped 7.25 percent to 9.21 euros and Piraeus gave up 4.32 percent to 8.64 euros. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dropped 2.12 percent to 1,216.66 points. Turnover eased to 128.1 million euros versus 159 million in the previous session.