ECONOMY

Diving index barely holds 1,500 points

Steep losses in OTE Telecom led equities 2.52 percent downward yesterday as the broader market played catch-up with recent losses in European bourses. The Athens bourse was closed on Monday for the Clean Monday holiday when European markets fell to fresh six-year lows on growing anxiety about a possible war with Iraq. «(Yesterday’s) drop was mostly closing the gap which intervened over the holiday. The worsening of sentiment abroad led to selling in blue chips,» said Takis Zamanis, analyst at Beta Securities. Telecoms fell 2.11 percent. OTE Telecom’s woes continued as the stock tumbled 4.85 percent to 9.02 euros. The Athens benchmark general index ended at 1,501.90 points, rebounding from lower levels earlier in the session. Blue chips fell 3.0 percent to 730.17 points and mid-caps dipped 2.85 percent. Turnover was 78.62 million euros, with 22.8 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 314 to 21, with 17 shares unchanged on 352 traded. (Reuters)