Blue chips under selling pressure; refiners gain

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) for the fifth session in a row, following other European markets. Medium- and small-capitalization stocks resisted the trend, resulting in gainers outnumbering decliners. The ASE general index closed at 3,237.75 points, a drop of 9.85 points or 0.30 percent. Over the last five sessions, the accumulated loss has reached 1.87 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.51 percent to close at 1,794.84 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.25 percent and 0.04 percent respectively. A few blue chips gained, notably refiner Hellenic Petroleum (up 2.37 percent to 10.36 euros), and, to a lesser extent, Alpha Bank, bottler Coca-Cola, electricity company PPC and betting company OPAP. Refiner Motor Oil and ATE Bank continued gaining, rising 6.25 percent and 5.24 percent respectively. By contrast, the following stocks were heavily sold: OTE (down 2.70 percent to 16.60 euros), Intracom (2.26 percent to 6 euros), National Bank (1.48 percent to 29.34 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.46 percent to 22.88 euros) and CosmOTE (1 percent to 15.78 euros). Of 327 traded stocks, 145 gained, 134 declined and 48 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 187.18 million euros, including 23.14 million in prearranged trades.