ECONOMY

ASE above 2,500 points after trimming early losses

Gains in OTE Telecom and construction stocks helped trim losses on the Athens bourse yesterday, helping keep the benchmark general index above 2,500 points after a dip to a new year-low. Brokers said selling pressure in OTE switched to blue chips, National Bank of Greece and telecom equipment-maker Intracom as the market fell for the eighth straight session. «There was some hope for a better performance but the turnaround in European markets midsession did not help,» said Nikos Galoussis, head of derivatives at Kappa Securities. OTE gained 1.03 percent to 17.60 euros, after losing about 4.5 percent since Friday. The telecoms subindex gained 0.21 percent. Construction stocks ranked among the winners, gaining 0.87 percent. The Athens benchmark general index shed 0.35 percent to 2,502.40 points after dipping to a new year-low of 2,494.30 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps eased 0.23 percent and the FTSE/ASE-80 of small-caps slipped 0.10 percent. Losers beat winners 175 to 114 with 73 unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)