ECONOMY

Selective buying boosts index; small-caps drop

Stocks rose slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), despite the negative mood prevailing in international markets, in a session marked by very thin trade. The market gained momentum toward the end, with investors selectively targeting some blue chips. On the other hand, small-capitalization stocks faced intense pressure, showcasing once again the fact that the bourse is a two-tier market, with only a few stocks really interesting investors. The ASE general index closed at 2,910.12 points, a gain of 17 points or 0.59 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.81 percent to close at 1,624.93 points. Mid-caps gained 0.09 percent, while small-caps declined 1.47 percent. Several blue chips posted significant gains. These were cement firm Titan (up 2.90 percent to 26.24 euros), OTE Telecom (1.86 percent to 14.24 euros), National Bank (1.59 percent to 26.82 euros), mobile telecommunications firm CosmOTE (1.45 percent to 13.96 euros) and Alpha Bank (1.38 percent to 26.42 euros). By contrast, Intracom and PPC declined 2.06 percent and 1.93 percent respectively. Of 338 traded stocks, 76 gained, 208 declined and 54 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 103.4 million euros, including 14.2 million in prearranged trades.