ECONOMY

Shares drop, barely hold 1,800 points

Equities fell 1.50 percent yesterday, dragged down by sliding European markets and underperforming banks, which still felt the pinch from ratings downgrades a day earlier. «The turnaround in European bourses hit our market, with the biggest impact on telecoms and banks,» said Yiannis Markakis at P&K Asset Management. The Athens bourse benchmark general index, which dipped below the 1,800 point support level in intrasession trade, ended at 1,801.37 points. Telecom stocks ended 0.91 percent lower, with mobile operator CosmOTE shedding 0.47 percent to 8.46 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index lost 1.56 percent to 893.30 points with mid-caps down 1.71 percent and small-caps dropping 2.04 percent. Oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum eased 0.98 percent to 6.08 euros, slightly outperforming the overall market. Turnover was 86.76 million euros on 24.0 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 272 to 53 with 37 shares unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)