Aggressive selling leads to sharp index decline

Stocks declined sharply yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investors sold aggressively in some cases. The ASE general index closed at 3,441.64 points, a drop of 55.23 points or 1.58 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.78 percent to close at 1,913.84 points. Mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.54 percent and 1.33 percent respectively. A few blue chips bucked the trend and posted gains, including metals group Viohalco (up 1.02 percent to 5.92 euros), telecoms firm OTE (1 percent to 18.18 euros), electricity company PPC (0.68 percent to 17.66 euros) and cement producer Titan (0.33 percent to 30.10 euros). The majority, however, suffered significant losses. This group included bottler Coca-Cola HBC (down 5.87 percent to 22.12 euros), betting company OPAP (3.54 percent to 26.14 euros), telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (3.14 percent to 4.94 euros), Alpha Bank (2.72 percent to 25 euros), mobile telecoms service provider Cosmote (2.58 percent to 18.12 euros) and National Bank (2.35 percent to 33.20 euros). Of 327 traded stocks, 85 gained, 174 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 330.04 million euros, including 85.79 million in prearranged trades, the main one being the sale of two packets of Eurobank shares (a total of 2 million) at 27.40 euros each.