ECONOMY

Blue chips too weak to pull market higher

Greek stocks yesterday disappointed the optimists who hoped for a move toward the 4,000-point barrier. The market seemed unable to improve the pace of the last sessions of September, with blue chips remaining weak. The Athens Stock Exchange general index was 0.34 percent lower at 3,917.73 points, with most sectoral indices ending in negative territory. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 index slipped 0.22 percent, the FTSE/Athex Mid 40 was 0.18 percent lower and the FTSE/Athex Small-Cap lost 0.16 percent. Among blue chips, only OTE telecoms and Public Power Corporation made any appreciable gains (1.14 percent and 1.05 percent, respectively), while Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Viohalco and Titan gained less than 1 percent. Germanos, Hyatt and OPAP were unchanged. Intracom slumped 3.57 percent, ATEbank tumbled 2.46 percent, Motor Oil dropped 1.50 percent and Coca-Cola was 1.40 percent lower. Emporiki, National Bank, Hellenic Petroleum and Folli-Follie also declined. Insurance registered the steepest fall among sectoral indices, 1.76 percent. Turnover surged to 941.3 million euros, of which about 650 million represented the transfer of a 42 percent stake in phone accessories retailer Germanos to mobile operator Cosmote at 19 euros per share.