ECONOMY

A fresh year high as blue chips take backseat

Stocks resumed their upward course on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, setting a fresh year high. Once again, the session was marked by a better performance by medium- and small-capitalization stocks and a fairly high turnover. The ASE general index closed at 2,683.25 points, a gain of 27.30 points or 1.03 percent. This level was last seen in November 2001. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.78 percent to close at 1,467.59 points, while the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 gained 2.15 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 gained 2.07 percent. This good performance of mid- and small-caps has been an unusual sight this year, where the general index’s rise has been due almost exclusively to blue chips. So far this year, blue chips have gained 20.28 percent, compared to 18.54 percent for the general index, a loss of 4.61 percent for mid-caps and a loss of 19.61 percent for small-caps. Emporiki and Alpha Bank led the banking sector in gains, rising 1.71 percent and 1.66 percent respectively. Other blue chip gainers included Hellenic Technodomiki (2.05 percent), Hellenic Petroleum (2.03 percent) and OPAP (1.14 percent). Of the 361 traded shares, 229 gained, 67 declined and 65 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 216.26 million euros, including 46.5 million in prearranged trades.