Commercial’s crash drags index down

Weakness in banks, led by heavy losses in Commercial Bank, outweighed moderate telecom gains yesterday pushing the benchmark index 0.25 percent lower. «If it wasn’t for banks, the market looked ready for a rebound after yesterday’s large drop,» said Grigoris Karayiannopoulos, analyst at Cyprus Securities. «Banks at current prices are not that attractive when compared to European peers,» he said. The Athens benchmark general index followed up a slide of nearly 2.5 percent on Monday by easing 0.25 percent to 1,832.97 points. Banks dropped 1.61 percent as a 8.55-percent tumble in Commercial Bank, to 17.12 euros, rubbed off on peers. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index retreated 0.78 percent to 924.69 points. Mid-caps gained 0.42 percent and small-caps firmed 0.04 percent. Turnover was 60.49 million euros on 15.9 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 175 to 144 while 38 shares were unchanged on 357 traded. (Reuters)