ECONOMY

A slight rise, but most investors are cautious

Although stocks rose slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), investors appeared cautious and nervous and, generally, at odds with the more optimistic mood seen in other European bourses following the decline in oil prices. Business was thin and the market ended in positive territory only after certain investors showed an interest in index heavyweight stocks. The ASE general index closed 0.20 percent higher, at 2,346.57 points. Among the blue chips that gained most were state betting company OPAP (2.78 percent), EFG Eurobank Ergasias (2.51 percent), the National Bank of Greece (2.32 percent) and cement company Titan (1.76 percent). Blue chips gained 0.30 percent to close at 1,236.59 points. Mid-caps gained 0.14 percent and small-caps 0.13 percent. The composite FTSE/ASE-140 index rose 0.27 percent, to close at 2,717.17 points. Among sectoral indices, non-metallic minerals and cement gained 1.37 percent, while both banks and IT solutions and equipment gained 1.10 percent. On the other hand, refineries declined 2.72 percent and insurance stocks 2.05 percent. Of the 356 stocks traded, 137 advanced, 140 declined and 80 remained unchanged. Turnover was 127.15 million euros, of which 15 million concerned pre-arranged block transactions.