Index stabilizes, though blue chip selling goes on

Stocks declined marginally yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investor interest focused on medium- and small-capitalization firms for the third session in a row. The ASE general index closed at 3,610.70 points, a decline of 2.29 points or 0.06 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.32 percent to close at 1,991.14 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 1.05 percent and 2.19 percent respectively. The telecoms sector was hit hardest, with mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote shedding 1.76 percent to close at 18.88 euros, while parent company OTE shed 1.36 percent to close at 17.92 euros. Other blue chips that sustained losses were cement producer Titan (down 1.67 percent to 33.06 euros) and National Bank (0.76 percent to 36.34 euros). Among blue chips, gains were made by telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (up 3 percent to 5.50 euros), casino and hotel operator Hyatt (1.52 percent to 10.70 euros), refiner Hellenic Petroleum (0.69 percent to 11.68 euros), electricity company PPC (0.67 percent to 18.02 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.49 percent to 24.70 euros) and Piraeus Bank (0.45 percent to 17.90 euros). Of the 327 traded shares, 185 gained, 84 declined and 58 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 316.21 million euros, including 82.09 million in prearranged trades.