ECONOMY

Index 0.72 pct off in relatively thin trade

Banks and small-caps combined to send equities on the Athens Stock Exchange lower yesterday. The ASE benchmark general index closed at 2,064.52 points, a drop of 15.05 points or 0.72 percent. On a weekly basis, the drop was 1.01 percent. Since the start of the year, the index has gained 18.08 percent. The drop might have been greater but for the good performance of heavyweights PPC (2.38 percent) and Vodafone-Panafon (1.02 percent). Blue chips declined 0.72 percent, while mid-caps lost 1.50 percent and small-caps dropped 2.81 percent. All sectoral indices registered losses, led by publishing and printing (3.87 percent). Banks declined 1.67 percent, with National Bank, the largest, dropping 1.35 percent as investors had already discounted its good half-year results published on Thursday. Of the 364 shares traded, 306 declined, 42 gained and 16 were unchanged. Turnover was a relatively low at 136.9 million euros.