ECONOMY

ASE follows weak Euro markets, down 0.07 percent

Mild losses in banks offset firm telecom and mid-cap stocks yesterday pulling the Athens bourse 0.07 percent lower as investors locked in recent gains and followed weak European markets. «We got off to a good start, but the picture in Europe affected trading and this led to investors cashing in profits from yesterday’s gains,» said Manos Mavrogenis, analyst at Laiki Attalos Securities. The benchmark general index ended at 2,559.94 points after gaining 2.38 percent on Thursday, with speculation that the proposed merger between Alpha and National Bank, announced last month, might collapse. The Athens bourse ended the week off 14.74 points. «The mixed close also reflects the market’s current sentiment after all these banking developments. Selling pressure was fairly easily absorbed, leaving room for a positive start on Monday,» said another broker. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips eased 0.18 percent to 1,390.56 points and small caps slipped 0.76 percent, although the FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps firmed 0.38 percent. Turnover was 129.28 million euros on 20.6 million shares changing hands. (Reuters) ACN, a subsidiary of IT group Altec, is introducing Netcarta, a card providing specific access time to the Internet at a much lower cost than that of a three-month subscription. The card, which will come in increments of 5, 10 and 20 hours’ access time, will provide connection through both PSTN and ISDN lines. Buyers automatically acquire a username and password. More information may be obtained at www.netcarta.gr