ECONOMY

Mid-caps lead gains

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index reached a three-year high of 2,683.25 points on Thursday, shedding a few points on Friday to close at 2,670.17, with a gain of 0.87 percent for a week in which mid-caps and small-caps dominated the scene. Total turnover, including block trades, rose to 1.01 billion euros, representing an average per session of 202.38 million. Among Financial Times indices, the Mid-Cap 40 led with gains of 4.10 percent; the Small-Cap 80 followed closely, advancing 3.58 percent; while the blue chip 20, showing lack of steam, gained only 0.06 percent. Only three of the 18 sectoral indices declined: textiles (1.49 percent), telecoms (0.59 percent) and banks (0.08 percent). Construction led winners with gains of 6.59 percent and was followed by insurance (6.37 percent) and IT equipment-solutions (5.78 percent). Of the 369 individual stocks traded, 206 headed north, 127 ended lower and 35 remained unchanged. Viosol’s common and preferred shares outperformed with gains of 30.77 and 27.78 percent respectively, while Dynamic Life and Domus Investment led decliners with losses of 31.69 and 30.77 percent respectively. The most marketable securities were banks National and Alpha and the Public Power Corporation. Analysts said the market is likely to accumulate strength at present price levels, with buying interest spreading to mid-caps. The general trend remains upward, with intermittent corrections possible. Provided sentiment remains positive abroad, the ASE is seen as likely to move higher.