ASE feels global woes; index below 2,300 pts

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday followed global markets’ slump over fears of soaring oil prices and the general index dropped below 2,300 points. The selling pressure first hit banks and other blue chips, eventually spreading across the board: Almost all 18 sectoral indices registered falls, ranging from 0.12 percent to 2.38 percent. The single exception, refineries, rose 0.23 percent. The ASE general index closed at 2,296.65 points, a drop of 33.65 points or 1.44 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.61 percent, to 1,216.28 points, while mid-caps fell 1.06 percent and small-caps lost 1.28 percent. Alpha Bank lost 2.69 percent to close at a year-low of 18.82 euros. Emporiki Bank also dropped, losing 5.26 percent to close at 17.28 euros. Telecommunications also followed the downward path, with OTE dropping 1.19 percent and mobile subsidiary CosmOTE losing 0.89 percent. Among blue chips, only Duty Free Shops and Olympic Technical resisted the trend, rising 0.25 percent and 0.57 percent, respectively. Of the 355 stocks traded, 70 gained, 229 retreated and 56 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 97.02 million euros, of which 15.5 million concerned prearranged transfers of share blocks.