ASE recoups early losses but refiners take a dive

Stocks declined slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), prompted by the negative mood in other European markets. However, they managed to recoup most of their losses toward the end, with the help of small-capitalization companies. The ASE general index closed at 3,385.53 points, a drop of 4.67 points or 0.14 percent. During the session, it had dipped as low as 3,364.50 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.06 percent to close at 1,876.42 points. Mid-caps declined 0.28 percent and small-caps gained 0.90 percent. Two stocks reached year-highs: Internet service provider Forthnet (up 9.48 percent to 9.24 euros) and Aspis Bank (4.57 percent to 3.66 euros). Blue chips with significant gains included electricity company PPC (2.67 percent to 19.20 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.85 percent to 5.50 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.10 percent to 23.86 euros) and EFG Eurobank (0.71 percent to 25.50 euros). By contrast, both refiners dropped steeply: Hellenic Petroleum fell 4.02 percent to close at 12.90 euros and Motor Oil declined 2.99 percent, closing at 18.80 euros. Of 333 traded stocks, 128 gained, 132 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 185.54 million euros, including 14.37 million in prearranged trades.