Underperforming its European peers, Athinon Avenue was virtually flat at the end of the week's first session as it failed to catch the wave of gains observed in the rest of the eurozone, partly due to concerns about the course of the pandemic in Greece. Losing stocks narrowly edged out the gainers, but most indexes closed with slight growth.
Greek stocks staged a remarkable turnaround on Thursday, as they swapped losses for gains, boosted by the reversal of bank stocks' fortunes. This was mainly seen as a reaction to the recent decline of prices from the January 4 peak, and was implemented on the highest daily turnover so far this year.
The market's focus on the sovereign bond issue left the field wide open for sellers on the local bourse - and they took full advantage of it. Stocks suffered significant losses, again led by the bank sector. It had been expected by many that stocks were set to fall in Athens and the rest of Europe, due to rising concerns over vaccine supplies.
The stock market's reaction after three days of losses proved half-hearted on Tuesday, as the early recovery was contained later on, with most bank stocks posting losses. Some traders will have decided to save some of their liquidity for the new 10-year bond issue, which Greece announced on Tuesday halfway through the trading session.
Greek stocks suffered extensive losses at the end of the week, underperforming their peers across most of the continent. While the prospect of the share capital increases in banks takes its toll on the local market in general, the trend for sales was universal, affecting even the majority of small-caps.
Despite the early euphoria on most European markets after the peaceful inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington, which led Asian stocks higher too, the afternoon saw prices slide at Athinon Avenue, led by banks. Traders would have liked to hear some more concrete comments from the European Central Bank on Thursday other than Frankfurt's decision to stay put.
The impressive rebound by bank stocks led the benchmark at Athinon Avenue back up to within sniffing distance of 800 points, and the risers outnumbered the losers by almost three to one. After three days of decline, it was considered about time for this market recovery, as there is no obvious reason for stocks to head lower at this point.