ECONOMY

Auctions save the day; small-caps keep rising

Stocks recovered slightly in the week’s final session, following two bad days, as investors went after selected blue chips. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE)’s general index closed at 3,615.76 points, a gain of 10.65 points or 0.30 percent. For the week it lost 2.10 percent; its overall losses for 2006 now stand at 1.11 percent. But yesterday’s recovery was exclusively due to blue chip auctions, with a parallel considerable volatility in other European markets. Small-caps again were the main beneficiaries; the blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index edged up 0.11 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 dropped a modest 0.04 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 added 0.54 percent. Most sectoral indices headed north, led by food and beverages (3.64 percent). Travel and leisure was hard pushed, ending 2.04 percent lower, while telecoms were 1.46 percent down. Banks gained 0.42 percent. Coca-Cola HBC outperformed, climbing 4.83 percent, Motor Oil added 1.97 percent, Public Power Corporation advanced 1.65 percent, National Bank gained 1.43 percent and Piraeus Bank 1.29 percent. In contrast, OPAP slumped 3.18 percent, Folli Follie tumbled 2.56 percent and OTE slipped 1.64 percent. Emporiki Bank was 1.53 percent down. Turnover remained rather low at 191.7 million euros, of which 45.9 million was accounted for by National Bank.