ECONOMY

Blue chips lead index lower amid thin trade

Shares lost a little ground on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, in what was seen as a consolidating session. Despite good corporate results, turnover declined and the market failed to take advantage of the positive climate in international markets. The market appeared unmoved by the bigger-than-expected half-year profits that Alpha Bank and lottery company OPAP announced on Wednesday. Market insiders are waiting to see whether the market will react in a similar fashion today to the announcement after the end of yesterday’s session of National Bank’s unexpectedly high profit. The ASE general index ended at 2,351.67 points, a loss of 5.25 points or 0.22 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.41 percent to close at 1,251.38 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.69 percent and 0.58 percent respectively. Most banks lost ground, with the exception of EFG Eurobank, which gained 0.33 percent to close at 18.16 euros. Jewelry maker Folli-Folie gained 2.25 percent to close at a year-high of 27.32 euros. Of the 357 stocks traded, 145 gained, 128 declined and 84 ended unchanged. Turnover fell steeply to 78.04 million euros, of which only about 800,000 represented prearranged trades.