Broad decline fueled by rumors of terror strikes

Shares declined yesterday as the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) felt the negative impact of global concern over news Al Qaeda may be planning terrorist attacks in the United States. Despite the negative news, however, analysts were satisfied as the market held above the 2,300-point level, even amid thin trade. The ASE general index ended at 2,309.24 points, a drop of 10.06 points or 0.43 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips lost 0.55 percent to close at 1,224.51 points, while mid- and small-caps lost 0.41 percent and 1.67 percent respectively. All major banks lost ground: National fell 0.68 percent to 17.60 euros, Alpha dropped 2.03 percent to 19.30 euros, and EFG Eurobank shed 0.78 percent to 17.80 euros. OTE Telecom lost 0.99 percent to 10.02 euros, while its subsidiary CosmOTE climbed 1.04 percent to 13.54 euros. Other blue chips that went against the grain were Hellenic Petroleum, up 1.17 percent, PPC (0.64 percent) and state lottery and pools company OPAP (0.88 percent). Of the 353 shares traded, 53 gained, 248 declined and 52 remained unchanged. Turnover was 82.82 million euros, of which 6.05 million concerned pre-arranged transfers of share blocks.

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