Stocks dip but hold 1,700 pts

Greek stocks lost ground yesterday but clung onto the 1,700-point mark as turnover dropped in the lead-up to the peak summer holiday period. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 0.45 percent to 1,705.23 points after trading in a narrow 30-point range. Turnover dipped to 54.7 million euros, among the lowest levels seen since early July, from 89 million previously. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index slipped by 0.62 percent to 833.34 points. Banks gave up 1.04 percent, with National dipping 1.76 percent to 11.15 euros. Piraeus Bank gave up 2.35 percent to end at 4.98 euros and Hellenic Postbank ended at 0.40 euros, off 0.96 percent. The biggest losers among lenders was Geniki Bank, which plummeted 13.04 percent to 0.40 euros. Buying in betting company OPAP pushed its shares 0.51 percent higher to 11.86 euros and Coca-Cola Hellenic rose 1.28 percent to 18.95 euros. OTE telecom ended unchanged at 6.20 euros and power company PPC dipped 0.93 percent to 12.80 euros. Brokers said the market may test the general index’s next support level of 1,680 points with news flow likely to remain thin in the coming sessions.