Bank stocks take a heavy beating

Stocks on the local bourse continued their decline yesterday owing to the liquidation of recent gains from blue chips and the negative climate abroad. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index declined to 2,811.26 points yesterday, falling by 1.53 percent from Wednesday’s close at 2,855.07 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index went down by 2.01 percent to end at 1,503.60 points. Small-caps attracted more interest than usual, with their FTSE/ATHEX 80 index posting marginal gains of 0.04 percent. All major banks registered losses, led by EFG Eurobank (down 4.10 percent). It was followed by Piraeus Bank (3.47 percent), Marfin Popular Bank (2.67 percent) and National Bank (2.58 percent). The only blue chips to show gains were Hellaktor (up 1.25 percent) and Mytilineos (0.65 percent). Turnover amounted to 217.4 million euros.