ECONOMY

Pressure on blue chips sends index lower again

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), despite the fact that European markets, whose weakness affected the ASE on Thursday, reversed course. The ASE general index closed at 3,331.90 points, a drop of 19.30 points or 0.58 percent. On a weekly basis, it dropped 0.65 percent, limiting this year’s gains to 19.59 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 0.58 percent to close at 1,852.84 points, while mid-caps declined 0.38 percent. Small-caps, however, gained 0.61 percent. Some blue chips held firm and helped limit overall losses: They were telecommunications equipment maker Intracom (up 3.65 percent to 5.68 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.86 percent to 5.48 euros), casino and hotel operator Hyatt (1.66 percent to 9.78 euros), telecoms company OTE (0.71 percent to 17.10 euros) and cement maker Titan (0.28 percent to 28.56 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by refiner Motor Oil (down 3.33 percent to 17.40 euros), electronics retailer Germanos (1.93 percent to 13.18 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.60 percent to 23.30 euros) and National and Piraeus banks (1.54 and 1.39 percent respectively). Of 330 traded stocks, 140 gained, 119 declined and 71 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 206.91 million euros, including 45.42 million in prearranged trades.