ECONOMY

ASE suspends two firms, PPC slides

Stocks extended losses yesterday, hit by sliding European bourses and the Athens Stock Exchange’s decision to suspend two companies until further notice. Blue chips were among the worst hit, giving up 0.84 percent to 1,065.81 points. The benchmark general share index lost 1.01 percent to 2,132.87 euros. The Athens Stock Exchange suspended trading of information software company Datamedia to protect the public and aquaculture producer Seafarm Ionian as it was unable to pay its 2002 dividend and the stock’s recent volatility. Shares of electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) lost 3.77 percent to 16.84 euros as investors mulled over the development minister’s announcement early this week of more hirings at the company. Dairy manufacturer Kri-Kri lost 4.42 percent to 8.64 euros, giving up some of the gains from its high-flying debut on Wednesday. Turnover eased to 177.93 million euros, with 44 million shares traded. Decliners led advancers 243 to 73, with 48 unchanged. (Reuters)