The Athens stock exchange was trading around 19 percent lower by mid-morning on Monday, after falling nearly 23 percent after it reopened for the first time in five weeks.
Greek banking stocks were the worst hit with Alpha Bank, Attica Bank and Eurobank Ergasius, Bank of Piraeus and the National Bank of Greece were all trading around 30 percent lower – the daily volatility limit. Similar losses were seen in other stocks outside of the banking industry as well too.
There was further bad news for the Greek economy earlier, with flash manufacturing PMI figures for July down to 30.2 the lowest reading since Markit began compiling data in 1999.
To make matters worse, an economic sentiment index for Greece hit its lowest level since October 2012 in July with capital controls and political uncertainty weighing on sentiment, according to the IOBE think tank that conducted the survey.
Ahead of the much-anticipated open, traders were bracing themselves for a day of “losses and volatility.”
Greek traders told Reuters on Sunday that they expected a torrid day of losses when the stock market opened. Takis Zamanis, chief trader at Beta Securities, told the news agency that “the possibility of seeing even a single share rise in tomorrow’s session is almost zero.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission told CNBC ahead of the open that his commission would monitor the market closely on Monday.
“We are not participants in the market, we are the supervisors and we are waiting to see what happens,” Kostas Botopoulos told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box” Monday. “It’s very important that we’re opening, of course we expect pressure on the Greek stock market but we’ll be there to monitor what happens.”
He said there would be no state intervention into the market, saying: “We’re looking to see when it will stabilize, at which prices, and what the perception of the Greek market is from domestic and foreign investors.”
Focus for the day is likely to be on the losses among Greek banking stocks, which constitute around 20 percent of the main Athens index. Restrictions have been put in place to stem capital flight, however.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at currency trading platform OANDA, said the banks would be key for investors.
“The Greek stock market is likely to suffer significant losses today, led by the banks which have been hit considerably by the events of this year and now need to be recapitalized at the very least,” he said in a note Monday.
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