Late buying in blue chips limits index loss

Investor interest in certain index heavyweights toward the end of the session limited losses on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday. The ASE general index closed at 2,376.31 points yesterday, a loss of 9.25 points or 0.39 percent. The index had dropped as low as 2,361.12 points, or 1.02 percent lower than Tuesday’s closing, before recovering. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.34 percent to close at 1,291.13 points, while mid-caps gained 0.28 percent and small-caps dropped 0.49 percent. It was bank stocks that mostly attracted investors. Alpha Bank gained 2.90 percent to close at 21.56 euros and Piraeus Bank gained 1.60 percent to close at 9.94 euros. Other blue chip gainers included National Bank (up 0.81 percent to 19.92 euros), CosmOTE (1.03 percent to 13.78 euros) and Intracom (0.65 percent to 3.12 euros). By contrast, OTE declined 3.42 percent to close at 10.72 euros, while Viohalco, Titan, Germanos, OPAP, EFG Eurobank, PPC and Coca-Cola HBC lost 3.03 percent, 2.20 percent, 2.06 percent, 1.38 percent, 1.14 percent, 1.07 percent and 0.90 percent respectively. Of the 357 stocks traded, 118 gained, 148 declined and 91 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 137.44 million euros, including 14.21 million in prearranged trades.