ASE passes 3,000 pts

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index continued its ascent with gains of 4.57 percent last week, closing at 3,064.20 points on Friday. Turnover also rose on continued buying interest by institutional investors, to total 1.256 billion euros, representing an average per session of 251.23 million, against 206.91 million the week before. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 climbed 5.27 percent, while the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 advanced 2.07 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 0.48 percent. The composite FTSE/ASE 140 ended 4.59 percent higher. Most sectoral indices headed north. Telecoms outperformed with gains of 7.18 percent. Non-metallic minerals and cement followed, ending 5.98 percent higher, while textiles and insurance registered the largest losses: 4.98 and 4.21 percent respectively. Of the 360 individual stocks traded, 159 gained, 172 receded and 29 remained unchanged. Winners were led by Rainbow Computer (42.22 percent) and Marfin Financial Group (28.37 percent). The biggest losers were Keranis Holdings’ common and preferred stocks (-35.29 and -28.57 percent respectively). The most marketable securities were those of the National Bank, OTE Telecom and Piraeus Bank. The ASE is up 9.98 percent this year and has now rebounded to the levels of June 2001. Several investment banks (UBS, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, JP Morgan) upgraded a number of heavyweight blue chips, and analysts take the view that, barring any unlikely developments, buying interest will continue spreading among the smaller capitalizations this week.

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