Blue chips stable but interest keeps dipping

Largely thanks to the two heaviest blue chips, OTE Telecom and National Bank, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index yesterday just managed to hold its own, closing with a gain of 0.08 percent at 2,257.54 points. However, turnover fell below 70 million euros, showing a strong lack of interest. Traders appear consumed by daily trading, evidently anxious to tap short-term gains. Blue chips ended 0.20 percent higher. OTE Telecom gained 1.45 percent to 9.89 euros. Investment bank CSFB forecast the utility’s first-half profit will shrink by 49 percent but set a target price of 12 euros. CSFB also set a target price of 24.2 euros for the Public Power Corporation, compared to yesterday’s closing at 19.06. National Bank surged 2.13 percent, construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki 2 percent and Coca-Cola HBC 1.99 percent. Hellenic Petroleum and CosmOTE were among the decliners, shedding 2.62 percent and 1.79 percent respectively. Mid-caps gained just 0.04 percent while small-caps fell 0.04 percent. Most sectoral indices stayed afloat; banks were up 0.13 percent. Turnover fell to 69.05 million euros. Advancers outnumbered decliners 144 to 123, with 84 unchanged on 351 traded.

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