The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) continued its positive performance in the first week of the year, boosting expectations of the so-called «January effect,» according to which usually large inflows into stocks lead to higher prices in this month of the year. The general index gained 2.27 percent in the week’s four trading sessions (Thursday was the Epiphany holiday), closing at 2,849.31 percent on Friday. Turnover rose considerably to 699.60 million euros – representing an average per session of 174.90 million, against 109.20 million the week before. Bucking the recent trend of strong buying interest for blue chips, the Mid-Cap 40 led Financial Times indices with gains of 3.28 percent, the blue chip 20 was up 2.25 percent and the Small-Cap 80 ended 0.22 percent higher. Among sectoral indices, information technology outperformed, climbing 7.43 percent. Insurance and refineries followed with gains of 3.06 percent and 2.84 percent respectively. In contrast, textiles shed 5.39 percent and IT equipment-solutions 3.91 percent. Among individual shares, Allatini outperformed with weekly gains of 31.25 percent. Decliners outnumbered advancers 236 to 110, while 17 share prices remained unchanged on 364 traded. The most marketable securities were CosmOTE, National Bank and OTE. Analysts’ estimates converge in the view that sentiment will stay upbeat in the first quarter of the year, as investors seem to expect a positive outcome of negotiations for a solution to banks’ social security issue and the outlook for foreign markets is relatively good.