Index stays flat but most stocks go down

Shares ended flat yesterday, despite the mildly positive European climate, with few bright spots among the blue chips holding up the index against small-cap weakness. «There is no clear direction in the market today,» said Michalis Kavatzas, chief analyst at Devletoglou Securities. «There is a lack of news flow that could boost the market and, as a result, shares that trade ex-dividend as of Friday come into focus, like Hellenic Technodomiki.» The general share index closed at 2,339.47 points, rising a mere 0.06 points. Coca-Cola HBC was the blue chip leader of the day, closing 2.56 percent higher at 20.04 euros, recovering losses of the previous session when the firm announced it would buy back its 5.25 percent notes due 2006 and issue new euro-denominated bonds. Among mid-caps, Hellenic Exchanges, the holding company that owns the Athens stock and futures bourses, ended 1.63 percent lower at 6.02 euros on Wednesday’s news that its head Panayiotis Alexakis resigned from his post. Blue chips rose 0.14 percent, mid-caps retreated 0.83 percent and small-caps lost 1.75 percent. Turnover jumped to 153.98 million euros, with 32.8 million shares changing hands. Losers outnumbered winners 256 to 59, with 42 remaining unchanged. (Reuters)