ECONOMY

Blue chips keep sliding

The climate of international uncertainty continued to exert strong pressure on Greek blue chips for the third consecutive week, with small-caps picking up some of the slack. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 2.53 percent, closing at 3.247.46 points on Friday. The banks and telecoms sectoral indices declined 2.30 and 3.23 percent respectively. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index ended 2.89 percent lower and the FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap 40 declined 1.77 percent, but the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 added 1.60 percent in the second week of gains in a row. Only two of the 18 sectoral indices bucked the declining trend: textiles, which advanced 3.91 percent, and IT equipment-solutions, which edged up 0.68 percent. Information technology, by contrast, suffered the most, crashing 6.27 percent. Declining oil prices also affected refineries, which lost 2.82 percent. Of 343 stocks traded, advancers outnumbered decliners 178 to 136 and 29 share prices remained unchanged. Microland Computers outperformed with weekly gains of 40.65 percent, while Promota Hellas had the largest losses, 19.61 percent. Weekly turnover declined slightly to 1,013.91 million euros, representing a session average of 202.78 million, against 208.80 million the previous week. Analysts on the whole claim that investors’ swing away from blue chips and toward small-caps appears rather fleeting. Nevertheless, they note that the search is now for undervalued stocks with good fundamentals.