Athens stock market gains 3.65 per cent after three-day loss

The Athex index closed at 666.68 points, after having lost 19.35 per cent of its value since resuming business at the start of the week.
The Athex index closed at 666.68 points, after having lost 19.35 per cent of its value since resuming business at the start of the week.PHOTO: AFP

ATHENS (AFP) - The Athens stock market on Thursday closed with 3.65 per cent gains, its first after three straight days of losses suffered since it was reopened this week following a five-week closure.

The Athex index closed at 666.68 points, after having lost 19.35 per cent of its value since resuming business at the start of the week.

On Monday alone, the Athex suffered a record-setting plunge of 16.23 per cent.

Banking stocks that had taken the worst of the battering - losing some 63.81 per cent in the three previous days - rebounded with a 17.78 per cent advance, with National Bank up 27.47 per cent, Eurobank gaining 17.31 per cent, Alpha Bank rising 11.61 per cent and Piraeus Bank up 3.62 per cent.

On Wednesday, the Athex closed 2.53 per cent lower in its third day of trading since the five-week shutdown, which was ordered by Greek authorities in late June as the debt-crippled nation teetered on the brink of an exit from the euro zone.

That shuttering was accompanied by an order for banks to remain closed as capital controls were imposed by the government, which was fearful of a bank run by jittery account holders.

The restrictions were eased July 20.

On Wednesday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Athens had entered "the final stretch" of negotiations with its creditors for a huge bailout, worth up to €86 billion (S$130 billion), that it is seeking in a bid to avoid defaulting on its debts and crashing out of the euro zone.

Both sides are under enormous pressure to conclude the agreement before Aug 20, when it is due to pay the European Central Bank €3.4 billion in loans.