ECONOMY

ASE up 7.47 pct in Jan.

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed at 2,432.58 points, or 2.70 percent, lower last week in trading that was marked by strong fluctuations and a significant drop in volume amid a profit-taking mood. Weekly turnover fell to 918.16 million euros – representing an average per session of 183.63 billion – against 1,010.05 million the week before. All Financial Times indices ended lower: the blue-chip FTSE/ASE-20 shed 2.0 percent, the mid-cap FTSE/ASE-40 shed 4.06 percent and the FTSE/ASE-80 of small-caps, 3.30 percent. As a result, the FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the above three, declined 2.42 percent. All sectoral indices except telecoms, which edged up 0.13 percent, ended with losses. Holdings was the most affected by the sellers’ market, shedding 6.22 percent. It was rivaled by textiles and insurance, which declined 5.98 percent and 5.86 percent, respectively. Heavyweight banks lost 2.72 percent. Only four stocks posted double-digit gains, Kardasilaris, Hadzikraniotis, Karatzis and Mathios. Losers were led by Korfil, which shed 22.40 percent, and Evrofarma (-20.42 percent). The week’s most marketable securities were EFG Eurobank Ergasias, with an average daily turnover of 18.75 million euros, OTE Telecom (16.94 million), Alpha Bank (14.68 million) and National Bank (14.58 million). In January as a whole, the general index gained 169.0 points, or 7.47 percent, from the 2003 close of 2,263.58 points. FTSE/ASE-20 gained 7.64 percent, FTSE/ASE-40, 7.49 percent and FTSE/ASE-80 advanced 8.62 percent. The insurance index was the biggest gainer with 20.01 percent.