ECONOMY

Small-caps lead higher

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index maintained its ascent for the 11th consecutive week last week, closing at 2,954.06 points on Friday, a gain of 1.72 percent on the previous week’s close. Foreign institutionals continued calling the tune, while analysts said the market was largely spurred by abundant rumors of impending business deals and of the commencement of procedures for the further shedding of state holdings in public companies. Turnover rose to 980.58 million euros, an average of 196.12 million per session from the previous week’s average of 185.46 million. All Financial Times indices headed north, led by with the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 which shot up 7.21 percent. The FTSE/ASE Mid-40 climbed 4.86 percent, while the FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips edged up 0.25 percent. The composite FTSE/ASE-140 index gained 1.17 percent. All but two of the 18 sectoral indices, information technology and banks which shed 2.05 percent and 1.32 percent respectively, advanced. Textiles outperformed with 11.34 percent, followed by construction with 11.27 percent, basic metals with 11.19 percent and insurance with 7.54 percent. Of the 364 individual titles traded, 300 gained, 42 declined and 22 ended unchanged. The biggest gainers were Fanco and Plias, which both shot up 50 percent. The biggest decliners were Interfish (25.62 percent) and Kotsovolos (19.67 percent). The most heavily traded stocks were three banks, National, EFG Eurobank and Alpha.