ECONOMY

Index dips below 1,700, to early ’98 level

Equities plumbed a new year-low yesterday as losses in European markets sparked blue-chip selling that spilled over to the broader market. Telecoms outperformed, slipping 0.82 percent, while the broader market lost 2.15 percent. The benchmark general index ended marginally above session lows at 1,689.59 points. It lost 14 points for the week overall. «Drops in European markets kept bidders at a distance and increased the market’s inability to absorb supply,» said Costas Theodoropoulos, fund manager at Allianz. Blue chips fell 2.16 percent to 830.74 points, led by a 2.62-percent drop in banks. Mid-caps dropped 2.51 percent while small-caps lost 2.71 percent. Turnover was 70.08 million euros with 16.1 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 292 to 33, with 30 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)