ECONOMY

Court decision hurts market; blue chips rise

Equities closed with losses yesterday, tracking weakness in Europe, with construction stocks hit after a court ruling affected the sector’s biggest group, traders said. «Looking at technicals, the 2,400-point level went from support to resistance level,» said analyst Andreas Karalis at Merit Securities. The general share index closed 0.54 percent lower at 2,383.90 points, with blue chips ending marginally up by 0.03 percent. «Clearly today it was banks that held the blue chip index, and that in turn gave some support to the general index,» a trader said. «If it hadn’t been for Alpha, National Bank and OTE, we’d be trading 1 percent down like Germany.» National Bank, the country’s largest, gained 1.41 percent to 21.62 euros, with traders saying the government’s appointment of former Citigroup banker Takis Arapoglou as its new chairman on Wednesday was still helping the stock. In the mid-cap sector, Aktor, the country’s largest construction firm, closed with losses of 8.29 percent at 3.98 euros on the back of a court ruling that temporarily prevents it from taking on new state contracts. Turnover rose to 140.08 million euros, with 26.9 million shares changing hands. Advancers trailed decliners 35 to 281 with 41 flat. (Reuters)