ECONOMY

Weakness in blue chips drags index down 0.31 pct

Softer blue chips led the Athens bourse 0.31 percent lower yesterday after range trading on thin volumes, as many players stayed home after a three-day freak snowstorm. «There was uninspiring trade with a lack of buying interest, a fact reflected by the low turnover,» said Dimitris Nikolos, head of research at Kappa Securities. «Generally, we are moving in line with European markets. Locally there is a lack of important news which could give some push to the market,» he said. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index shed 0.31 percent to 2,638.19 points. Turnover eased to 67.27 million euros from 81 million on Friday on volume of 12.7 million shares. «If the market is going to move higher, in line with a January effect, then we need to see stronger volumes. Buying should be stronger from institutionals at this time of the year but it isn’t,» said another broker. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips eased 0.42 percent to 1,441.46 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps outperformed, gaining 0.12 percent, continuing its positive run since the start of the year.(Reuters) Cypriot methods