ECONOMY

Blue chips head south

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index continued its downward slide last week, closing at 2,332.21 points on Friday, a loss of 1.40 percent on the week, despite a 1.61 percent rebound on Friday. Rumors of a downgrading of the ASE from the category of mature markets and the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East sent the index on a tailspin on Monday, with a loss of 3.77 percent for the day. Total turnover in the four-session week (Thursday was National Day) was 564.04 million euros, an average of 141.01 million per session – slightly higher than the week before. Blue chips came under the heaviest pressure, the FTSE/ASE-20 index shedding 2.55 percent. The FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 ended 1.16 percent lower, while FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap 40 bucked the trend with a gain of 0.99 percent. The picture with sectoral indices was mixed, with most registering losses. The construction index outperformed with gains of 4.62 percent, reversing a string of recent losses and vindicating a sectoral report by P&K Consultants; non-metallic minerals also bucked the trend, advancing 2.17 percent. But the heavyweight telecom and bank indices declined 4.47 and 3.98 percent respectively. Among individual stocks, Vernikos Holdings outperformed with gains of 19.38 percent, while Kepenos Mills led the losers, ending 27.78 percent lower. Decliners outnumbered advancers 220 to 121, with 28 unchanged on 369 traded. The week’s most marketable securities were Alpha Bank, OTE telecoms and EFG Eurobank Ergasias.