ECONOMY

Index again below 1,800

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index dropped 28.71 points, or 1.58 percent, last week to close at 1,791.70 points on Friday. Four of the week’s five sessions ended with losses, the exception being Tuesday’s. Total trading volume fell sharply to 515.44 million euros, with a daily average of 103.09 million. Of the Financial Times indices, the FTSE/ASE-20 of large-capitalization stocks resisted best, shedding 0.89 percent to close at 882.62 points. By contrast, the small-cap FTSE/ASE-80 index was heavily battered, losing 7.25 percent, while the FTSE/ASE-40 of mid-caps lost 4.72 percent. All sectoral indices ended with losses. Insurance stocks sustained the heaviest losses. As they have so often done this year, they dropped 14.11 percent to extend their overall 2002 losses to 69.46 percent. Also heavily hit were publishers and printers (12.80 percent), foods and beverages (10.57 percent) and IT equipment and solutions (9.59 percent). Banks resisted best, dropping 0.22 percent. Of the 368 individual stocks traded, 320 sustained losses, 38 gained and 10 remained unchanged. The biggest weekly gains were realized by ELGEKA, which rose 25.88 percent and Emborikos Desmos (10 percent). By contrast, 15 stocks lost over 20 percent. They were led by the preferred stock of Xifias Fisheries (40.82 percent), which was closely followed by Despec Holdings (39.39 percent), New Millenium Fund (38.75 percent) and Creta Farm (38.27 percent). The most heavily traded stock was OTE Telecom, with an average volume per session of 20.36 million euros. It was followed by Public Power Corporation (8.22 million).