ECONOMY

Slight decline conceals pressure on small-caps

Stocks lost some ground on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) for the third session in a row yesterday. Small-capitalization stocks faced strong downward pressure, with some 30 of them hitting year-lows. There was also limited interest for blue chips. The ASE general index closed at 2,354.66 points, a drop of 3.33 points or 0.14 percent. On a weekly basis, the index gained 0.44 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index gained 0.14 percent to close at 1,278.86 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.50 percent and 0.85 percent respectively. Rising blue chips included Hellenic Petroleum (up 1.51 percent to 6.74 euros), Piraeus Bank (0.64 percent to 9.50 euros), cement company Titan (0.60 percent to 20.16 euros) and Alpha Bank (0.60 percent to 21.04 euros). By contrast, Germanos lost 2.01 percent to close at 18.54 euros and Intracom declined 1.68 percent, to 2.92 euros. CosmOTE lost 0.60 percent and closed at 13.36 euros, while parent company OTE Telecom ended unchanged. Out of the 351 traded stocks, 66 gained, 195 declined and 90 ended unchanged. Turnover was 106.08 million euros, including 15.49 million in prearranged trades.