ECONOMY

Index follows foreign counterparts in decline

Stocks headed south en masse yesterday, affected by the negative climate in foreign markets and the closing of the April series in the derivatives market. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 43.63 points, or 1.46 percent, to close at 2,950.55. All sectoral indices ended in lower territory except information technology. Retail commerce was the worst affected, losing 2.71 percent. Heavyweight banks and telecoms declined 1.26 and 1.39 percent respectively. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 1.42 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap 40 dropped 1.17 percent, and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 closed 1.16 percent lower. Most banks were affected by sales. National shed 1.18 percent, Alpha 1.29 percent, Eurobank 1.23 percent and Piraeus 2.12 percent. Among other blue chips, gaming firm OPAP ended 2.01 percent lower, OTE Telecoms was down 1.96 percent, and Duty Free Shops fell 3.47 percent. Gainers were led by Sarantopoulos, up 14.96 percent, and Kotsovolos, which is planned for delisting by its parent company, the UK’s Dixons, with a gain of 11.71 percent. The biggest loser was Microland, down 10 percent. Among the 340 stocks traded, decliners heavily outnumbered winners, 215 to 63, while 62 share prices remained unchanged. Turnover rose to 182.02 million euros.