ECONOMY

Index and turnover up

The rebound of investor sentiment in international markets, due to a large decline in oil prices, helped the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index advance 0.90 percent last week, to close at 2,489.19 points on Friday, a six-month high. Turnover, including block trades, reached 592.7 million euros, representing a daily average of 148.17 million in the four-session week (October 28 was a national holiday), against an average of 137.43 million the week before. Of the Financial Times indices, the blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 gained 1.44 percent, but mid- and small-caps declined 0.72 percent and 0.22 percent respectively, as investors, particularly foreign institutionals, focused on the blue chips. The picture was mixed with sectoral indices, eight of which headed north, led by telecoms with gains of 3.85 percent. Banks and refineries gained 1.34 percent and 1.32 percent respectively. IT equipment-solutions lost most, ending 1.15 percent lower. Decliners outnumbered advancers 200 to 114, with 51 unchanged on 365 traded. Creta Farm outperformed, advancing 20.71 percent. Viosol was the biggest loser, shedding 20 percent. OTE Telecom, OPAP and National and Alpha banks were the most marketable securities. The present market conjuncture is considered especially crucial for the ASE, as blue chips have been ascending for 18 months now. Two important factors this week will be the US presidential election, which is expected to end the climate of uncertainty in international markets, and further nine-month results from listed companies.