Trading is still looking quite grim, halfway through the Athens Stock Exchange's first week open after a forced shutdown. Greek bank shares have plunged for the third straight day, dragging down the wider market.
The Greek stock market has continued its losing streak in the third straight day of trading, in the first week of the stock exchange’s re-activation after more than a month-long shutdown. Greek stocks closed 2.53 percent down on Wednesday.
Bank shares continued to be put on sale on a massive scale on Wednesday - but few buyers were bidding.
"So far buyers have not been keen to step in and try to catch a falling knife," said investment adviser Theodore Mouratidis. "There is a lot of automated selling and there is uncertainty in view of stress tests that will determine the size of banks’ capital shortfalls."
Shares of Alpha Bank and Piraeus nearly hit the 30 percent loss threshold, where controls preventing the shares being traded any further are triggered. More than eight million shares in Alpha and 2.6 million shares in Piraeus were offered for sale, with few takers.
The bank sector share index plunged 27.5 percent, nearing the 30 percent drops on Monday and Tuesday. Banks make up about a fifth of the main Athens index and their losses pulled the rest of the index by 3.6 percent after earlier gains on Wednesday.
The European Central Bank decided Wednesday to keep its emergency credit lifeline for Greece at the same level for the next two weeks. Emergency Liquidity Assistance for Greece's banks is at 90.5 billion euros.
Athens’ third day of resumed trading also coincides with the government meeting with its international creditors. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday that Greece was on the verge of clinching a multi-billion-euro bailout deal, which he said would lay Grexit fears to rest once and for all.
“Despite the difficulties we are facing, we hope this agreement can end uncertainty on the future of Greece and of the eurozone,” he said during a visit to the country’s agriculture ministry.
jd/uhe (Reuters, dpa)