ASE suffers early losses before small-cap rally

Stocks ended up slightly lower yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), in a session marked by extreme swings, especially in small-capitalization listings. The ASE composite share price index closed at 3,906.53 points, a decline of 13 points or 0.33 percent. Earlier in the session, it had fallen as low as 3,829.06 points. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips declined 0.23 percent to close at 2,164.99 points and mid-caps declined 0.63 percent. Small-caps gained 3.30 percent after falling nearly 8 percent earlier in the session. The FTSE/Athex International index declined 0.12 percent, closing at 5,466.31 points. Among blue chips, significant gains were posted by Piraeus Bank (up 0.68 percent to 17.44 euros), ATEbank (0.43 percent to 4.66 euros) and Duty Free Shops (1.97 percent to 14.32 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by refiner Hellenic Petroleum (down 0.84 percent to 12.10 euros) and technology holding company Intracom (1.63 percent to 4.98 euros). Of 322 traded shares, 199 gained, 90 declined and 33 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 700.49 million euros, including 131.2 million in prearranged trades. The latter included the transfer of an 18.57 stake in private clinic Hygeia (7,950,958 shares) at 2.48 euros per share.