Investors await news on oil, refrain from trading

Shares ended flat on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) in subdued volume yesterday with investors in a wait-and-see mood on the back of persisting worries on oil prices and the interest rate outlook, traders said. The general share index ended 0.03 percent down at 2,401.59 points, unmoved by perkier European markets. «Today we saw low volumes, especially in big-caps, there is no direction in the market and with US (payroll) data expected on Friday and the oil price where it is, investors are cautious,» a trader said. «There is liquidity, but it’s not being channeled into the market,» added Vassilis Antoniadis, fund manager at Marfin Mutual Funds. «It was banks that held up the index today, and construction also did well.» Banks ended slightly up, with National Bank gaining 1.17 percent to 24.30 euros and Emporiki 1.78 percent higher at 21.68 euros. Telecoms equipment-maker Intracom was one of few other blue-chip gainers, on what traders said was a technical rebound. The shares closed 3.38 percent up to 4.28 euros. Blue chips were nearly flat at 0.01 percent up while mid- and small-caps lost 0.10 percent and 0.41 percent respectively. Turnover eased to 113.62 million euros, with 25 million shares changing hands. Advancers trailed decliners 126 to 166, with 71 remaining flat. (Reuters)