ECONOMY

Index off 0.19 pct despite blue-chip gains

Equities edged lower yesterday as soft mid-caps outweighed marginal blue-chip gains. The Athens bourse benchmark general index slipped 0.15 percent to 1,823.21 points but outperformed sliding European bourses. Blue chips edged ahead 0.19 percent to 900.15 points. «Blue chips stabilized and this kept the market at current levels. When Europe was gaining 3 to 4 percent recently, we failed to track them higher and are now catching up,» said Manos Mavrogenis, analyst at Laiki Attalos Securities. Banks firmed 0.12 percent, with National Bank adding 1.27 percent to 14.38 euros. Telecoms firmed 0.16 percent, while OTE Telecom gained 0.37 percent to 10.98 euros. Mid-caps eased 1.24 percent and small-caps fell 2.30 percent. Turnover was 124.55 million euros on 29.9 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 280 to 42, with 36 shares unchanged on 358 traded. (Reuters)