ECONOMY

Investors look for better days in new year

With the Christmas break approaching, trading on the Athens bourse may be thin this week as investors look towards the New Year for better days. On Friday, the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 0.71 percent to 1,498.01 points, but dipped 0.55 percent for the week overall. Greek stocks have been the worst performers among developed markets this year, losing 36.86 percent, versus gains 15.14 percent in Germany and a 1.78 percent rise in France. Denmark topped the list of gainers, adding 36.8 percent since the start of 2010. Brokers expect 2011 to be another tough year for Greece as the economy enters its third straight year of contraction. Citi expects Greek stocks to keep underperforming their major international peers next year. Deutsche Bank has a neutral stance on Greek stocks for 2011, pointing out that negative sentiment could improve in the medium term and that local lenders may benefit if the eurozone gets the debt crisis under control. On the macroeconomic front, data on October’s industrial orders and turnover is expected from the Hellenic Statistical Authority today. Additionally, lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the 2011 budget on Wednesday. The Athens bourse will be closed on Friday.