ECONOMY

Late buying in telecoms helps bourse stay level

Stocks ended almost level yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) as investors targeted some blue chips toward the end of the session, making up for considerable early-session losses. The ASE general index closed at 2,898.34 points, a gain of 1.94 points or 0.07 percent. Earlier in the session, it had dropped as low as 2,859.89 points, or 1.26 percent lower than Wednesday’s close. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.03 percent to close at 1,616.16 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.32 percent and 0.33 percent respectively. Telecommunications firms led the way: OTE gained 1.26 percent to close at 14.36 euros, while mobile telecommunications subsidiary CosmOTE gained 2.16 percent, closing at 14.18 euros. Other blue chips that recorded gains included Hellenic Technodomiki (up 2.22 percent to 3.68 euros), Intracom (2.15 percent to 3.80 euros), Piraeus Bank (1.49 percent to 13.64 euros) and Coca-Cola HBC (1.07 percent to 20.80 euros). By contrast, Alpha Bank, Hellenic Petroleum and Titan fell 1.81 percent, 1.48 percent and 1.47 percent respectively. Out of 328 traded stocks, 105 gained, 145 declined and 78 ended unchanged. Turnover rose slightly, reaching 155.69 million euros, including 18.72 million in prearranged trades.