Cyprus stocks fall as investors stay away
A post-festive hangover among investors sent share prices tumbling on the Cyprus Stock Exchange Tuesday, january 2, as the market dipped four percent in the year's first trading session, said brokers.
Most investors stayed away from the market, while others only ventured to sell stocks to recoup expenses incurred during the Christmas and New Year break.
"The start of the year traditionally registers a drop because of the holidays and the fact investors aren't in the best of moods," said stockbroker Nicos Efrem.
He added: "Many brokers were finding it hard to reach their clients today as many had their mobiles switched off."
Lack of interest on the bourse was reflected in the below average traded volume of 8.6 million Cyprus pounds ($13.7 million) as the all-share index slipped 3.86 percent to close on 235.06 points.
Only 36 shares advanced while 126 retreated. The last day of trading in 2000 saw the index close at 244.50 points on a 2.17 percent slide with traded volume on 24.1million ($38.5million).
The blue chip FTSE/CySE 20 benchmark index retreated 3 percent to close on 986.56 points.
Stocks which took the biggest pounding were in the IT sector, down 10.45 percent, and manufacturing companies suffered 7.30 percent losses.
"Hopefully the index will start performing better in the next few days as investors show more interest and snap up shares trading at a discount," said Efrem.
Analysts believe the CSE will take a less treacherous path than 2000 when average share prices plunged by an unprecedented 69 percent. From a January high of 699 points the index fell to a year low of 219 points last December.
In 1999 the fledgling CSE enjoyed a boom year and saw gains of 700 percent, reaching a record-high of 850 points in November of that year.
"The signs are that the market will stick to fundamentals this year," said one Nicosia-based analyst.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)