Athens bourse beset by fiscal worries

Pressure increased on the local bourse toward the end of last week with heavy losses on Thursday and Friday. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed the week on Friday at 1,878.91 points, recording an 8.27 percent decline from the previous week’s close at 2,048.32 points. The main index has thus reverted to levels unseen since April 2009. The new decline was attributed to the jitters across markets in Europe, as the bourses of Lisbon and Madrid took a serious beating that was also reflected by the euro. Another reason was the new negative report on Greece by Deutsche Bank, referring to «bankrupt» Greece. The picture of the local stock market since the first credit rating downgrade of Greece by Fitch in November is one of a bourse that is suffering, with very few corporate developments, a disappointing cash flow and a general torpor evident among Greek and foreign investors. Meanwhile, all eyes remain fixed on fiscal developments in Greece as there will have to be some positive signs about the budget’s implementation before investors put their money back in the market.

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