ECONOMY

Index barely moves as volume hits year-low

Stocks began the week on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) in the same way they ended the previous one, with the general index barely moving. The session was marked by investor indifference, with the exception of a few blue chips, which led to the lowest turnover so far this year. The ASE general index closed at 2,994.81 points, a gain of 0.83 points or 0.03 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.16 percent to close at 1,677.46 points. Mid-caps gained 0.12 percent and small-caps declined 0.18 percent. The two stocks that attracted the most interest were Emporiki Bank and oil refiner Motor Oil. Investors bought into Emporiki, as rumors circulated of an impending agreement with France’s Credit Agricole to take over the bank’s management. At present, Credit Agricole holds an 11 percent stake. Emporiki gained 2.34 percent to close at 21.90 euros. Motor Oil gained 3.48 percent to close at a week-high of 12.50 euros. Other blue chips with significant gains included Duty Free Shops (up 3.86 percent to 13.46 euros), metals group Viohalco (2.57 percent to 6.38 euros) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.41 percent to 8.62 euros). Of 333 stocks traded, 120 gained, 133 declined and 80 ended unchanged. Turnover dropped to 91.04 million euros, including 17.1 million in prearranged trades.