ECONOMY

Index closes unchanged, mid-caps above water

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index stayed put with no change at 3,092 points yesterday, after wide intra-session fluctuations between 0.97 percent and -0.49 percent. Most shares, including blue chips, headed south, with small-caps coming under the strongest pressure. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index ended marginally down, 0.04 percent, while the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 gained 0.19 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 dropped 0.76 percent. Emporiki and EFG Eurobank, which both announced 2004 results, gained 0.94 and 0.69 percent respectively, but the banks’ sectoral index receded 0.16 percent despite positive reports for the two biggest, National and Alpha. Investment bank JP Morgan raised its target price for National Bank to 35 from 30 euros, maintaining its «overweight» rating, while Credit Suisse First Boston raised its rating on Alpha Bank to «outperform» from «neutral» and its price target to 30 euros from 25.6 previously. Telecoms lost 1.00 percent, as mobile operator CosmOTE shed 2.24 percent after Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating to «hold» from «buy» but kept its price target unchanged at 15 euros. Decliners outnumbered advancers 175 to 105, while 69 share prices remained unchanged. Turnover rose further to 263.25 million euros.