ECONOMY

Stocks lose 3.32 pct on weak banks

Greek stocks fell sharply yesterday, dropping 3.32 percent on continued weakness in banks. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 1,582.22 points, a drop that was in line with retreating global markets. Stocks around the world dropped yesterday as sentiment continued to be hit by concerns about Europe’s debt crisis and figures showing an unexpected increase in US jobless claims last week. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index fell 3.85 percent to end at 763.69 points. Banks slumped 4.54 percent. National Bank, scheduled to unveil first-quarter figures next week, tumbled 4.50 percent to 10.18 euros. Power company PPC followed up Wednesday’s slide of 2.5 percent by losing 1.73 percent yesterday to end at 12.50 euros. Earlier this week the company unveiled a higher-than-expected 4.4 percent increase in first-quarter net profit to 257 million euros. Toy retailer Jumbo lost 3.51 percent to 5.50 euros. It denied a newspaper report yesterday saying that the board of directors is in advanced talks to sell Jumbo to a private equity fund. Turnover reached 112.6 million euros versus 154 million in the previous session.