ECONOMY

Stocks fall 1.69 pct but hold 2,200 mark

Equities fell yesterday amid tumbling European markets but managed to hold above the support level of 2,200 points as investors stuck to defensive stocks to ride out the storm. As European telecom stocks ticked 5 percent lower, Greece’s telecom index fell 1.91 percent, with heavyweight OTE losing 2.13 percent. The benchmark general index lost 1.69 percent to end at 2,205.06 points, bouncing back from an intra-session low of 2,184.82. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE index of blue chips lost 1.48 percent to 1,147.04 points. Mid-caps fell 1.98 percent with small-caps off 1.79 percent. «The Greek market tracked losses on foreign markets but not to the same degree, thanks to stocks with defensive qualities like OTE, which doesn’t have the debt its European peers do,» said an analyst at P&K Securities. Turnover was 112.85 million euros on 22.7 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 288 to 37 while 26 shares were unchanged on 351 traded. (Reuters) The OECD also questioned the government’s goal of a 0.8-percent budget surplus set for this year, saying that limited success in controlling spending could lead to a surplus of just 0.5 percent of GDP. It suggested that a tighter fiscal policy would be more productive in controlling inflation and reducing public debt while a larger budget surplus would help alleviate some of the pressures connected to future pension expenditure.