Stocks ended sharply lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, quickly reversing a two-day advance which pushed the composite index 2.83 pct higher. The index fell 2.38 pct to end at 1,355.08 points, with turnover remaining a low 70.992 million euros.
Bank shares came under strong selling pressure following a decision by S&P to downgrade the country’s largest banks. The Big Cap index fell 2.48 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 2.14 pct down and the Small Cap index fell 1.26 pct. OPAP (0.69 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end higher, while Piraeus Bank (4.85 pct), National Bank (4.61 pct), Ellaktor (4.42 pct) and Viohalco (4.25 pct) were major losers.

The Travel sector was the only one to end higher (0.61 pct), while Financial Services (3.70 pct), Banks (3.61 pct) and Food (3.42 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 98 to 42 with another 48 issues unchanged. Vovos (17.43 pct), Demetriou (11.11 pct) and Lambrakis Press (10.53 pct) were top gainers, while Tegopoulos (18.18 pct), Unibios (14.29 pct) and Hatzioannou (12.5 pct) were top losers.

Sector indices ended as follows:
Insurance:  -1.72%
Industrials:  -2.80%
Commercial:  -1.63%
Construction:  -1.19%
Media:  Unchanged
Oil & Gas:  -1.57%
Personal & Household:  -1.57%
Raw Materials:  -0.83%
Travel & Leisure:  +0.61%
Technology:  -2.62%
Telecoms:  -2.11%
Banks:  -3.61%
Food & Beverages:  -3.42%
Health:  -1.40%
Utilities:  -1.83%
Chemicals:  -0.66%
Financial Services:  -3.70%

The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OTE, OPAP and Alpha Bank.

Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank:  3.50
ATEbank:  0.52
Public Power Corp (PPC):  10.37
HBC Coca Cola:  18.03
Hellenic Petroleum:  7.06
National Bank of Greece:  4.76
EFG Eurobank Ergasias:  3.32
OPAP:  14.60
OTE:  6.95
Bank of Piraeus:  0.98
Titan:  17.48