Another year-low set as banks tumble

Equities fell 2.38 percent yesterday to a new year-low with sharp losses in banks on nine-month earnings concerns. «Selling continued due to falling European markets. Sentiment in the banking sector internationally is particularly weak,» said Dimitris Apistoulas, analyst at EFG Eurobank Securities. Banks lost 3.76 percent. National Bank ended off 3.94 percent at 14.64 euros and Alpha Bank shed 3.73 percent to 11.38 euros. Both ended at new year-lows. The Athens benchmark general index fell to 1,771.78 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index ended off 2.96 percent at 884.98 points. Other large-caps which took heavy losses included construction group Hellenic Technodomiki, down 4.12 percent, and metallurgy group Viohalco which ended 6.22 percent lower. Mid-caps lost 2.48 percent and small-caps, 2.53 percent. Turnover was 69.40 million euros on 20.2 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 300 to 31, while 24 shares were unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)