ECONOMY

Politics are behind rise

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed at 1,946.70 points on Friday, a gain of 45.22 points, or 2.38 percent, compared to the previous week’s close. Three of the week’s five sessions ended with losses, but were more than compensated for with big gains on Wednesday, the day Prime Minister Costas Simitis forced Costas Laliotis, general secretary of the ruling PASOK party, to resign. Total turnover rose slightly, to 737.75 million euros, from 734.69 million last week, a daily average of 147.55 million. Small-caps led the advance this time, with the FTSE/ASE-80 index gaining 5.82 percent. The FTSE/ASE-40 of mid-caps rose 2.63 percent, while the FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 2.57 percent. The FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the previous three, gained 2.92 percent, to close at 2,266.63 points. Most sectoral indices showed gains: Top gainers were textiles (10 percent), refineries (8.21 percent) and IT solutions & equipment (6.71 percent). On the other hand, telecommunications fell 2.63 percent, followed by basic metals (0.42 percent). Among the 368 individual stocks traded, 282 gained, 74 fell and 12 remained unchanged. The biggest gains were registered by Alisida’s common and preferred shares (58.46 percent and 45.54 percent, respectively). The biggest loser was Ideal’s preferred share (21.97 percent). Once again, the most heavily traded share was that of OTE Telecom, with an average daily turnover of 15.17 million euros. Alpha Bank and state soccer pool and lottery firm OPAP followed, with daily averages of 8.396 million and 5.993 million, respectively.