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MARKET NEWS

Greek market ends down

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Athens Stock Exchange ends lower on Thursday weighed down by worries about whether Greece can fulfill reforms agreed with its international lenders.

Public- and private-sector labor unions have said they will stage a 24-hour strike next week to protest against planned job cuts, while ECB board member Coeure has acknowledged that the euro zone remains in a deep crisis, posing challenges for those tasked with setting policy.

The latest bailout review then showed that after three years and 200 billion euros in aid Greece remains in trouble. Public sector reforms are elusive, tax collection is anaemic, and debt is set to top 175 percent of gross domestic product this year.

Even if Greece can get through its next review, it faces a financing gap that is only likely to be resolved by additional debt relief, this time borne by euro zone states long fed up of Greeces seemingly unending funding needs and failure to reform.

Samaras has already ruled out any further austerity measures for a nation faced with a 27 percent jobless rate and the Socialist PASOK party - his only remaining ally - has made it clear it will not support another round of painful cuts.

United States President Barack Obama will meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Washington DC on August 8, according to the PMs office. In an announcement, Samaras office said the agenda of the meeting will include bilateral, regional and international issues.

On the board the General Index ends 0.98% down at 811.51.

Turnover stood at 37.88 million euros.
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