Investors keep away from rangebound ASE

Shares ended almost unchanged for the second session in a row yesterday, with most investors still watching from the sidelines. Despite thin trade, 27 stocks set year-lows. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) may remain among the world’s developed markets, as the international index group FTSE announced yesterday, but many analysts say the bourse’s trading profile is not that of a mature market. Over 60 percent of total turnover concerns about 10 stocks, while the majority of medium- and small-capitalization stocks hardly interest investors. The ASE general index closed at 2,327.37 points, a rise of 0.44 points or 0.02 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.05 percent to close at 1,251 points, while mid- and small-caps fell 0.36 and 0.58 points respectively. It was the interest in a limited number of blue chips that kept the index stable. These were Hellenic Petroleum (up 3.06 percent to 6.74 euros), National Bank (0.44 percent to 18.28 euros) and OPAP (0.38 percent to 15.70 euros). Of the 343 traded stocks, 74 gained, 182 declined and 87 ended unchanged. Turnover was 70.12 million euros, including 6.76 million in prearranged trades.

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