Late interest in blue chips offsets early losses

Stocks ended marginally lower on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investor interest in blue chips toward the end of the session reversed early losses. The ASE general index closed at 3,038.62 points, a loss of 0.53 points or 0.02 percent. It had reached an intra-session low of 3,014.38 points. On a weekly basis, it declined 1.54 percent, but is still up 9.06 percent in 2005. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.09 percent to close at 1,710.17 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.97 percent and 0.13 percent respectively. Among blue chips, electronics retailer Germanos gained 1.73 percent to close at a 52-week-high of 26.98 euros. Other gainers included refinery Hellenic Petroleum (up 2.30 percent to 8.90 euros), National Bank (1.92 percent to 28.62 euros), mobile telecoms firm CosmOTE (1.12 percent to 14.50 euros) and bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.72 percent to 22.24 euros). Of the 331 traded stocks, 117 gained, 135 declined and 80 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 194.67 million euros, including 66.64 million in prearranged trades. The latter were dominated by the placement of 4,330,500 shares of construction and property development firm Babis Vovos – a 12.67 percent stake – with institutional investors at 12.50 euros per share.

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