The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) closed down three percent Friday, December 1, with the main index at a year-low of 219.77 points, making total losses for the week a crippling 20 percent over five sessions.
As downward pressure continued on shares, particularly blue chip bank stocks, the CSE suffered from a liquidity squeeze as $1.5 billion was wiped off the market's capitalization over the week, analysts said.
"There is panic selling without any reason," said stockbroker Christos Ioannides.
He added: "As soon as the index starts going down investors tell their brokers to sell at any price."
Friday's session saw an intra-day dip of 5.5 percent before a rally near the end of the trading day confined losses to 2.72 percent on a trading volume of $24 million.
The CSE has recorded five straight indra-day year lows this week, following a 10-month downward spiral that has wiped two thirds of the value of shares — the index coming down from 699 points.
"Most ordinary investors have been destroyed by the market," said Panicos Christodoulou, although it was a different story last year when a booming CSE made average gains of over 700 percent.
Moreover, the exchange authorities launched the internationally recognized FTSE/CySE20 index today in a bid to encourage international investors. The FTSE base price was set at 966.8. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)