ECONOMY

Oil prices take toll

The latest round of oil price rises dampened the spirits of investors in Greek stocks, as elsewhere in Europe, in the last two sessions of last week. The Athens Stock Exchange general index fell from an intra-session high of 3,325.79 points on Wednesday to 3,277.73 at Friday’s close, ending virtually unchanged from a week earlier. Turnover, including pre-arranged block trades, approached 920 million euros, a daily average of 183.55 million, against 185.02 million in the previous week. The blue-chip FTSE/ASE index ended the week 0.08 percent lower, while the FTSE/ASE 40 mid-cap index gained 1.88 percent and the FTSE/ASE small-cap 80 index added 1.48 percent. Most sectoral indices gained ground, with refineries outperforming with gains of 4.62 percent, followed by publishing & printing with 1.43 percent. By contrast, real estate dived 4.26 percent and insurance 1.72 percent. Winners outnumbered decliners 182 to 125, with 36 remaining unchanged out of 343 stocks traded. Analysts note that market corrections have so far had no extensive repercussions and that investors are restructuring their portfolios in response to the successive announcements of first-half results of listed companies. They also note that daily turnover remains at high levels and scenarios and expectations for a realignment of forces in the banking and telecommunications sectors maintain investors’ interest.