Stocks ended significantly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, pushing the composite index of the market below the 1,600 level. Selling activity fosuced on bank shares. The composite index fell 1.42 pct to end at 1,588.33 points, with turnover soaring to 223.695 million euros. The Big Cap index dropped 1.75 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.01 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 0.52 pct.

Motor Oil (0.55 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end higher, while MIG (5.81 pct), Alpha Bank (4.86 pct), Eurobank (3.43 pct), Piraeus Bank (3.23 pct) and Mytilineos (3.13 pct) were major losers.

The Financial Services (4.35 pct), Raw Materials (3.47 pct), Health (3.03 pct) and Banks (2.52 pct) sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Insurance (14.26 pct) and Commerce (0.03 pct) scored gains.

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 101 to 53 with another 47 issues unchanged. European Credit (16.33 pct), Creta Farm (14.88 pct) and Sanyo Hellas (9.09 pct) were top gainers, while Kyriakoulis (18.87 pct), Neorio (16.13 pct) and Boutaris (10 pct) were top losers.

Sector indices ended as follows:

Insurance:

+14.26%

Industrials:

-1.31%

Commercial:

+0.03%

Construction:

-0.87%

Media:

-2.76%

Oil & Gas:

-0.41%

Personal & Household:

-2.02%

Raw Materials:

-3.47%

Travel & Leisure:

-0.23%

Technology:

-2.29%

Telecoms:

-0.36%

Banks:

-2.52%

Food & Beverages:

-0.89%

Health:

-3.03%

Utilities:

-0.01%

Chemicals:

-1.49%

Financial Services:

-4.35%

The stocks with the highest turnover were Crown Hellas Can, National Bank, OPAP and Alpha Bank.

Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index

closed in euros as follows:

Alpha Bank:

4.89

ATEbank:

0.78

Public Power Corp (PPC):

12.22

HBC Coca Cola:

18.67

Hellenic Petroleum:

7.45

National Bank of Greece:

6.65

EFG Eurobank Ergasias:

4.78

OPAP:

16.14

OTE:

8.20

Bank of Piraeus:

1.50

Titan:

16.95