ECONOMY

Index fails to breach 3,000 pts in volatile day

Stocks ended a touch higher yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, following a volatile session that was marked by increased interest in OTE shares. The ASE general index closed at 2,993.98 points, a gain of just 1.98 points or 0.07 percent. During the session, it ranged between 2,984.62 points (an overall loss of 0.25 percent) and 3,015.91 points (a 0.62 percent gain). For the week, the index gained 3.47 percent. It has risen 7.46 percent since the beginning of 2005. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips dropped 0.10 percent to close at 1,680.13 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.39 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively. OTE wound up 2.22 percent higher to close at 14.72 euros. Other blue chips showing significant gains included Agricultural Bank (3.10 percent to 5.98 euros), Mytilineos (2.49 percent to 8.24 euros), Germanos (1.91 percent to 24.56 euros) and Viohalco (1.30 percent to 6.22 euros). By contrast, blue chips suffering losses included Coca-Cola HBC (1.91 percent to 20.58 euros), PPC (1.70 percent to 22 euros) and National Bank (1.14 percent to 27.86 euros). Piraeus Bank, which traded ex-dividend, slid 2.54 percent, to 14.58 euros. Out of 342 traded stocks, 156 gained, 112 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 207.56 million euros.