Index sinks as banks feel heat

The positive mood of the previous three sessions seemed to have evaporated at the Athens bourse yesterday, as foreign investors applied pressure on blue chips, focusing as usual on banks. The declines of mid-cap and small-cap indices were not as sharp. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,510.16 points yesterday, contracting by just 2 percent from Tuesday’s close at 1,541.02 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index gave up 2.78 percent to end at 717.31 points, while the mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index inched 0.11 percent lower. The only blue chip to end with gains yesterday was Coca-Cola HBC, which rose 0.92 percent, while betting company OPAP was the worst off, falling 4.83 percent. It was followed by ATEbank (down 4.76 percent), Piraeus Bank (4.23 percent), National Bank (3.73 percent), Hellenic Postbank (3.61 percent), Eurobank EFG (3.10 percent) and Alpha Bank (3 percent). A total of 62 stocks headed north, 95 went down and 42 remained unchanged. Fabrics and yarn firm Euroline led the gainers with 17.81 percent growth, while Alsinco posted the biggest losses (down 19.40 percent). Turnover came to 98.3 million euros, up from Tuesday’s 81.6 million.