Stocks remained under strong selling pressure for the second consecutive session in the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with news of a failed merger attempt between National Bank and Alpha Bank negatively affecting sentiment in the market.

Turbulence in international markets caused by developments in Libya also affected the market. The composite index fell 2.93 pct to end at 1,619.36 points, with turnover a moderate 134.095 million euros.

The Big Cap index fell 3.16 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.18 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 3.35 pct. Hellenic Postbank (5.95 pct), Marfin Popular Bank (5.31 pct), PPC (5.06 pct), Cyprus Bank (4.79 pct) and Eurobank (4.17 pct) were top losers among blue chip stocks. National Bank’s share fell 2.11 pct and Alpha Bank’s share ended 2.58 pct down.

Only the Commerce sector ended higher (0.45 pct), while Utilities (4.94 pct), Health (4.77 pct) and Raw Materials (4.44 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 146 to 35 with another 31 issues unchanged. Alsinco (10 pct), Attica Publications (10 pct) and Lanakam (8.33 pct) were top gainers, while Neorio Shipyards (14.29 pct), Unibios (12.5 pct) and TBank (11.11 pct) were top losers.