Blue chips lead mood rebound

Trading on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) remained on the whole subdued last week, as investors remained watchful of developments in international markets until Friday. However, a marked improvement in the investment climate on European bourses and a recovery of Wall Street indices on Friday changed the momentum and investors started to appreciate the continuing drop in oil and metal prices. With a rebound based on blue chip auctions before the end of business on Friday, the ASE general index recovered earlier losses, closing 0.05 percent higher than a week earlier, at 3,905.98 points. Mid-caps and small-caps lost ground. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 index gained 0.68 percent on the week, the FTSE/Athex Mid 40 slipped 0.65 percent and the FTSE/Athex Small-Cap 80 tumbled 2.62 percent. Most of the 17 sectoral indices headed south, led by petroleum & gas, which lost 3.76 percent as oil prices kept declining. The second-heaviest loser was insurance, down 2.75 percent. In contrast, telecoms led winners with a gain of 2.12 percent. Banks ended the week 0.78 percent higher. Naoussa Spinning Mills outperformed, adding 22.22 percent in the week. Emporikos Desmos’s preferred stock was the top loser, plunging 48.04 percent. Turnover rose to a daily average of 242.56 million euros. Analysts said the improved mood on international markets came at a time when the possibility of a correction seemed equally likely. But they also note that the general index met with a strong resistance at the 3,953-point level for the second time in seven sessions. A third attempt should clarify the short-term outlook. The ASE, in collaboration with Bloomberg’s news agency, is holding a series of presentations of Greek companies in London on Wednesday and Thursday.