Selective interest in blue chips boosts index

Stocks gained slightly on Thursday on the Athens Stock Exchange, bucking the trend in other European markets thanks to investor interest in some blue chips. The bourse was closed yesterday, a national holiday. The ASE general index closed at 3,269.50 points, a gain of 7.42 points or 0.23 percent. On a weekly basis, it gained 0.68 percent, bringing this year’s total gain to 17.35 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.33 percent to close at 1,814.89 points. Mid-caps declined 0.53 percent and small-caps gained 0.05 percent, respectively. Several blue chips recorded gains, including telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (3.80 percent to 5.46 euros), betting company OPAP (2.06 percent to 23.74 euros), mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (1.43 percent to 17.04 euros), National Bank (0.82 percent to 32.06 euros) and Alpha Bank (0.60 percent to 23.50 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by jewelry retailer Folli-Follie (4.26 percent to 22.46 euros), electricity company PPC (1.56 percent to 17.66 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.46 percent to 5.38 euros) and OTE Telecom (0.82 percent to 17.02 euros). Of 323 traded stocks, 123 gained, 136 declined and 65 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 165.15 million euros, including 15.5 million in prearranged trades.