Steep drop for stocks in Athens

The uncertainty in Europe over the Irish bailout package and a fresh rise in Greek bond spreads led yesterday to a steep decline for most Greek stocks on the local bourse. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,460.33 points, falling 2.17 percent from last Friday’s close at 1,492.67 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index contracted by 2.45 percent to end at 689.36 points. With Greek credit default swaps (CDS) rising to above 1,030 basis points, the market fell prey to sellers from abroad. The extension to the negotiations yesterday between the Greek government and its creditors in Athens also did not help the mood. Only one blue chip posted gains. Motor Oil climbed 1.46 percent, while Titan cement stayed put. The biggest losses were posted by Hellenic Postbank (down 6.03 percent), National Bank (4.10 percent) and Viohalco (3.75 percent). In total, 32 stocks moved up, 138 went down and 43 remained unchanged. Altec led the gainers, with 20 percent growth, while casinos, gaming and hotel firm Vivere posted the biggest loss with a 18.75 percent drop. Turnover came to 91.8 million euros, remaining below the 100-million-euro level for the seventh session in a row.