ECONOMY

Bourse hit hard by global market worries

Stocks took a beating yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) as the market followed moody global exchanges and ended at its lowest point since late March. Thirty-six stocks ended at 52-week lows. The ASE general index closed at 2,889.10 points, a decline of 61.45 points or 2.08 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 2.11 percent to close at 1,613.41 points, while mid-caps and small-caps dropped 2.33 percent and 1.87 percent respectively. Bottler Coca-Cola HBC was the only blue chip that bucked the trend, gaining 1.19 percent to close at 20.44 euros. Alpha Bank also got off relatively lightly, sliding 0.58 percent to 27.50 euros. Most other blue chips suffered significant losses. These included cement company Titan (down 4.26 percent to 24.26 euros), telecommunications equipment maker Intracom (3.50 percent to 3.74 euros), state betting agency OPAP (3.21 percent to 21.70 euros), Piraeus Bank (3.17 percent to 13.42 euros), Hellenic Petroleum (3.07 percent to 8.22 euros), CosmOTE (2.72 percent to 13.60 euros) and National Bank (2.33 percent to 26.16 euros). Of 330 traded stocks, 40 gained, 247 declined and 43 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 148 million euros, including 5.9 million in prearranged trades.