Decline based on fears of more ECB rate hikes

Stocks declined for a second day in a row yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as they did on other European bourses, as investors became fearful of further interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank. The ASE composite share index closed at 3,881.93 points, a decline of 33.76 points or 0.86 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips declined 1.03 percent to close at 2,109.22 points, while mid-caps and small-caps dropped 0.68 percent and 0.43 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International closed at 5,459.05 points, down 0.95 percent. Only three blue chips registered gains: metals group Viohalco (up 1 percent to 8.08 euros), electricity monopoly PPC (0.64 percent to 18.90 euros) and electronics retailer Germanos (0.11 percent to 18.74 euros). The biggest losers were jewelry and accessories maker and retailer Folli Follie (down 2.79 percent to 20.90 euros), Alpha Bank (2.58 percent to 20.36 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.68 percent to 23.48 euros), ATEbank (1.46 percent to 4.06 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.25 percent to 25.30 euros) and National Bank (1.23 percent to 32.16 euros). Of 301 traded shares, 68 gained, 188 declined and 45 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 197.78 million euros, including 14.9 million in prearranged trades.