ECONOMY

Market takes off

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was propelled upward in the final sessions of 2003 and the first of 2004. It gained 104.19 points, or 4.72 percent, to close on Friday at 2,313.64 points. The market was closed on Thursday, New Year’s Day. Weekly turnover, including block trades, was 497.23 million euros, an average of 124.31 million euros per session, from 332.41 million euros the previous week. All Financial Times indices ended higher: the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 added 7.82 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 gained 5.33 percent and the FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips rose 5.13 percent to close at 1,194.23 points. The FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the above three, rose 5.41 percent to close at 2,734.79 points. Almost all sectoral indices ended with gains. The single exception was refineries, down 0.02 percent. The biggest gains were made by banks (13.45 percent), followed by textiles (8.63 percent) and retail commerce (7.66 percent). Of the 364 shares traded, 338 gained, 21 declined and 5 remained unchanged. Mouriadis led the gainers (32.27 percent), followed by Intersat (31.03 percent) and Centric Multimedia (11.54 percent). Losers were led by Naftemboriki (19.63 percent), Cor-Fil’s and Alisida’s preferred shares (11.67 percent and 10.45 percent, respectively). The week’s most marketable securities were National Bank, with an average daily turnover of 15.06 million euros, Alpha Bank (8.93 million) and OTE (8.57 million).