ECONOMY

Blue chips take the brunt of global jitters

Growing geopolitical concerns by the firing of North Korean missiles sent jitters through global stock markets yesterday and naturally did not leave Greek stocks unaffected. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index slumped 1.98 percent, closing at 3.620.02 points. Blue chips led the market lower, with the FTSE/ASE 20 index down 1.99 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 ending 1.25 percent lower and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 shedding 1.58 percent. All sectoral indices but one (travel and leisure) headed south. Utility services, construction, petroleum and technology were the hardest hit, all plummeting more than 3 percent. Heavyweight banks lost 2.23 percent. Among blue chips, National Bank dropped 3.85 percent, Intracom lost 3.80 percent, Titan shed 3.74 percent, ATEbank was down 3.59 percent, Public Power Corporation ended 3.54 percent lower, Piraeus Bank lost 3.53 percent and Hellenic Petroleum was 3.41 percent leaner. OPAP and Emporiki Bank were the only blue chips to head north. Germanos was unchanged at 18.72 euros. Turnover rose to 256.8 million euros, of which 132.3 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities, National Bank, OTE, OPAP and Piraeus Bank.