ECONOMY

Little change as most investors await sell-offs

Stocks closed marginally higher on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as continued investor interest in certain blue chips balanced out the liquidation of many positions in medium- and small-capitalization stocks. Turnover remained at relatively low levels, as both domestic and foreign institutionals remain largely on the sidelines, waiting for the new round of privatizations and developments concerning bank employees’ auxiliary pension funds. The ASE general index closed at 3,065.73 points, a gain of 5.36 points or 0.18 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.33 percent to close at 1,728.73 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.58 percent and 0.24 percent respectively. Among blue chips, electronics retailer Germanos (up 3.20 percent to 24.48 euros) posted the biggest gains. Other winners included construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki (up 1.88 percent to 4.34 euros), Duty Free Shops (1.28 percent to 14.26 euros), National Bank (0.97 percent to 29.28 euros), betting company OPAP (0.96 percent to 20.96 euros) and Alpha Bank (0.82 percent to 24.56 euros). Of the 337 stocks traded, 96 gained, 145 declined and 96 ended unchanged. Turnover rose slightly, to 180.48 million euros, including 30 million in prearranged trades.