Stocks drop by close to 2 percent

Greek stocks fell sharply yesterday as losses in index heavyweight National Bank (NBG) dragged the market lower. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell 1.96 percent to 1,586.62 points after rebounding from a session low of 1,557 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index shed 2.50 percent to end at 772.32 points. Data showed that shares listed on the blue chip index drew 95 percent of the day’s turnover, which reached 169.2 million euros, up from 93 million in the previous session. Banks came under pressure, falling 3.79 percent, bringing losses in the last 30 days to just over 9 percent. Alpha Bank retreated 4.24 percent to 5.20 euros and Piraeus slumped 5.44 percent to 4 euros. Eurobank EFG ended at 5.09 euros, off 4.86 percent, while Hellenic Postbank eased 2.16 percent to 4.53 euros. Bank of Cyprus bucked the trend, adding 2.28 percent to 4.04 euros. Buyers turned to nonfinancials, with OTE telecom rising 0.87 percent to 5.79 euros and energy and metals company Mytilineos jumping 4.55 percent to 3.17 euros. Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens bourse, gained 2.19 percent to 5.60 euros.