ECONOMY

War drives a sellers’ run

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general price index closed on Friday at 1,517.94 points, a fall of 52.45 points, or 3.34 percent, from the previous week’s close. Three of the four sessions last week – on Monday, Thursday and Friday, Tuesday being a public holiday – ended with losses, affected by pessimism about the course of the Iraq war. Weekly turnover rose sharply to 396.69 million euros, an average per session of 99.17 million – against 64.92 million the previous week – in a sellers’ market. Among the Financial Times indices, the blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index came under the strongest pressure, receding 3.64 percent to 730.81 points. The small-cap FTSE/ASE-80 and FTSE/ASE-40 of mid-caps lost 2.67 percent and 1.59 percent, respectively. The FTSE/ASE 140, a composite of the above three, shed 3.20 percent. All sectoral indices except three ended in negative territory. The biggest losers were non-metallic minerals and cement (-5.48 percent) and telecoms (-5.32 percent). The gainers were real estate (3.45 percent), textiles (1.36 percent) and insurance (0.86 percent). Of the 369 individual stocks traded last week, 79 gained, 271 registered losses and 19 remained unchanged. Gainers were led by Space Hellas’s common stock (34 percent) and Cor-Fil’s preferred stock (31.37 percent). Stabilton’s preferred shares led losers for the second consecutive week (-19.51 percent), followed by Newsphone Hellas (-16.43 percent). OTE Telecom was again the most marketable security, with an average turnover of 15.79 million euros per session. Hellenic Technodomiki construction firm followed closely with 15 million euros.