ECONOMY

Mid-caps slide most

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended 1.24 percent lower last week, closing at 2,486.43 points on Friday. Weekly turnover reached 718.56 million euros, which represents an average per session of 143.71 million. Despite the fall, mainly foreign institutionals absorbed most of the supply of blue chips which Greek managers shed. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index eased 0.56 percent in the week, but the respective mid-cap and small-cap indices were more affected, ending 3.62 percent and 2.77 percent lower, respectively. The FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the above three, lost 1.11 percent. Most sectoral indices suffered losses, led by holdings (-5.26 percent) and followed by printing and publishing (-4.52 percent) and refineries (-4.48 percent). The gainers were led by real estate (1.71 percent) and banks (1.40 percent). Of the 369 stocks traded, 265 declined, 80 advanced and 24 remained unchanged. Emporikos Desmos and Fanco led the losers, ending 17.39 percent down, while Viosol and Livanis Publications gained most, 18.52 percent and 14.29 percent, respectively. The most marketable securities were National and Alpha banks and OTE Telecom. A change of mood may set in this week, tomorrow or Wednesday, with new data on oil prices coming in which is likely to affect pressures regarding interest rates for the main currencies. Analysts also expect mood to be influenced by further first-quarter results and the disposition of major stockbrokerages toward particular mid-caps.