Greece’s main stock index seemed to have stabilized by the time the markets closed on Tuesday, with shares closing down around 2.2 percent – a far cry from the record drop in share prices from the day before.
The head of the Athens Stock Exchange, Socrates Lazaridis, said that most losses incurred on Tuesday were concentrated in the banking sector, which shed around 28 percent of its value, just shy of the 30-percent threshold at which trading is suspended.
“The second day of trading showed clear signs we are moving toward a normalization of the market after the long shutdown,” Lazaridis told a press conference.
That stop-loss trigger was all that prevented Greece’s largest lenders from completely tanking on Monday, when the main stock index lost 16.2 percent after a five-week shutdown that was aimed at preventing capital flight and a collapse of the fragile banking sector.
The exchange’s banking index measures the value of Greece’s four biggest lenders, each of which was down on Tuesday.
Piraeus shed the maximum amount allowed on one day – 30 percent – for the second day in a row. Alpha Bank dipped 22.62 percent, while Eurobank and National Bank fell 29.7 percent and 22.62 percent, respectively.
European shares down
Unlike on Monday, when European investors largely shrugged off the market rout in Greece, shares were down across the Continent on Tuesday.
London’s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.07 percent, while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.32 percent. Frankfurt’s DAX, a measure of 30 major companies in Europe’s largest economy, dropped 0.11 percent.
Among the worst performers in Germany was luxury automobile maker BMW, stocks in which shed 2.3 percent after the Munich-based firm said its second-quarter profits were slowing due to weaker sales in China.
Worries over the Chinese economy have hit a number of companies with strong ties to the region.
Investors are still nervous after Beijing effectively propped up the country’s economy last month with a handful of measures to prevent share prices from plunging after a month-long rout. That intervention raised questions about the health of the world’s second-largest economy.
cjc/jd (dpa, Reuters, AFP)