S&P demotion sends Greek stocks lower

The demotion of the local bourse from developed to emerging market status by Standard & Poor’s had an instant impact on Greek stocks on Tuesday, resulting in the benchmark’s biggest drop in 26 sessions on a day when most international markets headed south. Turnover however rose to its highest level in the last five sessions.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 1,123.07 points, sliding 2.84 percent from Monday’s 1,155.95 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index fell 2.87 percent to close at 364.44 points.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 countries, hit a one-month low on Tuesday, as investors await a sign from the Federal Reserve regarding the course of US interest rates. Add to that the uncertainty over the Scottish referendum, and investors’ reluctance to make any big purchases becomes fully understandable.

Banks had a particularly rough day, shedding 4.31 percent, with Eurobank contracting 5.75 percent, Alpha losing 4.44 percent and National giving up 3.92 percent. Titan Cement declined 4.83 percent. OPAP (up 1.30 percent) and Folli Follie (0.17 percent) were the only blue chips to head north.

In total 39 stocks showed gains, 85 posted losses and 15 closed unchanged. Turnover came to 88 million euros, almost twice Monday’s 45.5 million.

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