ECONOMY

Index drops to its lowest point in 15 months

Negative developments in Hungary, rumors that the bank Societe Generale will be forced to record considerable losses from bad moves in derivatives and problems in the US labor market all contributed toward sending the Greek bourse’s main index to a 15-month low yesterday. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,484.90 points, falling 5.03 percent from Thursday’s close at 1,563.53 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dropped 5.56 percent to end at 709.20 points. There were losses across the blue chip board, led by banks, with National Bank dropping 6.70 percent, followed by EFG Eurobank (down 6.57 percent), Piraeus Bank (5.54 percent), Hellenic Postbank (5.40 percent), Marfin Popular Bank (5.23 percent), Bank of Cyprus (4.23 percent) and Alpha Bank (4.05 percent), but these were all dwarfed by drops in Viohalco that amounted to 9.20 percent and OPAP (down 9.09 percent). There were 147 stocks that declined, 33 that rose and 49 that remained unchanged. The biggest rise was for the privileged stock of ANEK (up 17.65 percent) and the biggest drop for the common stock of Elfico (down 9.68 percent). Turnover came to 137.7 million euros yesterday.