Stocks may sail into choppy seas

Greek stocks could be headed for a volatile start to the week with doubts about whether Europe can solve its deepening debt crisis causing some concern in global markets. On the local news front, several blue chips are scheduled in coming days to unveil first-quarter earnings figures and provide clues to how they see this year’s bottom line figures shaping up. On Friday, the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell 3.41 percent to 1,658.29 points but managed to hold onto gains of 1.71 percent for the week. Greek stocks have given up 16.5 percent in the last month, versus a drop of 2 percent in Germany’s DAX and an 8.3 percent retreat in London’s FTSE. OTE telecom, which slumped 7 percent on Friday, was one of the week’s big losers after announcing a larger-than-expected, 75 percent drop in first-quarter earnings. It also said it expects a steeper decline in earnings figures later this year, as consumers cut back on telecom spending. Cement company Titan is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings today, while power company PPC and toy retailer Jumbo will be announcing their profit figures on Wednesday.

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