Index off 0.80 pct, with mid-caps outperforming

Shares lost ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as blue chips fell under selling pressure and small-capitalization stocks continued their decline. By contrast, there was interest in mid-caps but not enough to reverse the decline. The ASE general index closed at 2,826.58 points, a drop of 22.73 points or 0.80 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.94 percent to close at 1,567.53 points. Mid-caps gained 0.63 percent but small-caps dropped 0.72 percent. There was renewed interest in smaller banks, with Agricultural Bank of Greece, Bank of Attica and Egnatia gaining 6.27 percent, 3.88 percent and 1.83 percent respectively. Among bigger banks, Piraeus and Emporiki declined 1.83 percent and 1.68 percent respectively. Electricity utility PPC and state betting agency OPAP were the hardest-hit among blue chips, declining 4.09 percent and 2 percent respectively. By contrast, cement company Titan and bottler Coca-Cola HBC bucked the falling trend and ended up 2.97 percent and 2.23 percent respectively. Of the 356 traded stocks, 90 gained, 212 declined and 54 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 163.24 million euros, including 6.7 million in prearranged trades.