Stocks fall 1.8 percent; banks slide

Greek stocks fell for a second straight session yesterday, with banks underperforming in the lead-up to the second-quarter reporting season. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index lost 1.82 percent to 1,516.17 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dipped 2.42 percent to end at 735.30 points. Banks shed 3.38 percent. National Bank fell 3.47 percent to 9.75 euros and Eurobank EFG tumbled 6.37 percent to 4.70 euros. Piraeus Bank, scheduled to announce second-quarter earnings figures after the close of trade today, ended at 4 euros, off 3.15 percent. Deutsche Bank (DB) cut its price targets on five Greek lenders yesterday. DB cuts its price target on National Bank to 11.80 euros from 21.80 euros previously. It also reduced its price target on Alpha Bank to 5.30 euros (from 9.20 euros) and Eurobank EFG to 5.60 euros (from 7.50 euros). Greece’s largest oil refinery Hellenic Petroleum advanced 0.53 percent to 5.74 euros. The company reported late on Tuesday a lower-than-expected first-half net profit of 16 million euros, down 85 percent year-on-year. Turnover reached 80.1 million euros versus 106.4 million in the previous session.