ECONOMY

Blue chips run out of steam toward the end

Greek stocks shed initial gains yesterday, closing near the day’s lows after liquidations in blue chips and small caps. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed 0.22 percent lower, at 4,048.72 points, after reaching as much as 0.62 percent higher. The financial services index, mostly comprising blue chips, outperformed other indices with gains of 1.80 percent. Travel and entertainment followed, 1.27 percent up. In contrast, chemicals and mass media came under the strongest pressure, ending 2.51 and 1.83 percent lower. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index declined 0.46 percent. Gaming firm OPAP showed strength, adding 1.45 percent, while ATEBank, Viohalco, Eurobank and Hellenic Petroleum rose more modestly. National Bank shed 1.76 percent, Duty Free Shops 1.48 percent, Motor Oil 1.28 percent, Folli Follie 1.27 percent (after a «sell» recommendation by Deutsche Bank) and Alpha Bank was 1.08 percent lower. Turnover declined to 392.99 million euros, of which 61.4 million represented prearranged block trades. The five most heavily traded stocks, Delta Holdings, OTE telecom, OPAP, Eurobank and Alpha Bank, totaled 130.2 million in turnover.