ECONOMY

Index retreats below 2,900pts in quiet session

Stocks declined slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, sending the index below 2,900 points. The ASE general index closed at 2,898.75 points, a decline of 6.89 points or 0.24 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 0.32 percent to close at 1,613.72 points, while mid-caps and small-caps dropped 0.32 percent and 0.56 percent respectively. Investor interest focused on telecommunications, following a positive report by investment bank Morgan Stanley, which raised the share target price for OTE to 17.10 euros, from 16.30 previously, and for CosmOTE to 16.10 euros, from 15.30 previously. As a result, CosmOTE gained 2.15 percent to close at 14.68 euros, while OTE rose 1.10 percent to close at 14.68 euros. By contrast, several other blue chips came under selling pressure and lost ground. They included Alpha Bank (down 2.05 percent to 25.76 euros), PPC (1.67 percent to 21.14 euros), OPAP (1.52 percent to 23.32 euros) and EFG Eurobank (0.99 percent to 23.98 euros). Of 332 traded stocks, 92 gained, 172 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached a meager 122.71 million euros, including 15.7 million in prearranged trades.