Small-caps steal the show; turnover slides

Small-caps stole the limelight in the first trading session of 2006 on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, continuing their ascent of the last three weeks. Nevertheless, despite their outperformance and the fact that winners outnumbered decliners by far, the ASE general index ended just 0.02 percent lower than after the last session of 2005, at 3,663.31 points. Among sectoral indices, insurance was the star of the day, surging 8.99 percent. The FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 index gained 1.75 percent, closing at 637.60 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index declined 0.03 percent to 2,018.53 points, while the FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap 40 gained 0.77 percent. Among blue chips, the number of winners was rather limited, notably among heavyweight banks. Germanos and ATE Bank outperformed with gains of 4.90 and 4.76 percent respectively; Intracom surged 2.50 percent, Public Power Corporation added 2.28 percent and Duty Free Shops gained 1.07 percent. On the decliners’ side, Hellenic Petroleum slid 2.19 percent, Emporiki Bank lost 1.74 percent, Cosmote shed 1.17 percent and Coca-Cola HBC, 1.12 percent. The relative lack of interest in blue chips was reflected in the sharply lower turnover of 155 million euros.

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