ECONOMY

Buying interest shifts to mid- and small-caps

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) headed south yesterday on profit-taking in telecoms and banks after last week’s hefty gains. Buying interest shifted to mid-caps and small-caps, whose FTSE/ASE indices ended 0.35 percent and 0.41 percent higher respectively. The focus was on passenger shipping after the announcement of the acquisition of a 9.51 percent stake in Minoan Lines by Attica Group. Minoan gained 10.31 percent. The general index closed 27.49 points, or 0.90 percent, lower at 3,036.71. OTE Telecom, CosmOTE and the Public Power Corporation came under strong selling pressure, shedding 2.68 percent, 2.02 percent and 3.14 percent respectively. The two largest banks, National and Alpha, were also out of favor, receding 1.90 percent and 1.83 percent respectively. Among the blue chips that gained were gaming firm OPAP, after Deutsche Bank upgraded its target price from 22 to 25 euros, Viohalco (1.72 percent) and Titan cement (1.36 percent). Textiles advanced 1.61 percent and non-metallic minerals, 1.39 percent. Decliners beat advancers 174 to 117, while 59 stock prices remained unchanged. Turnover totaled 205.14 million euros.