ECONOMY

ASE slightly off due to surprisingly strong euro

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as European markets came under pressure from the rise of the euro to its highest level since April 2005. The ASE compound share index closed at 4,308.17 points, a drop of 13.68 points or 0.32 percent. On a weekly basis, it declined 0.16 percent, limiting this year’s gains so far to 17.58 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips declined 0.38 percent to close at 2,378.67 points. Mid-caps gained 0.01 percent and small-caps declined 0.65 percent. The FTSE/Athex International declined 0.32 percent, closing at 6,210.31 points. Thirteen out of 17 sectoral indices lost ground. The top gainers were health (up 1.30 percent) and utilities (0.95 percent). The biggest losers were financial services (down 1.45 percent), industrial goods and services (1.31 percent) and oil and gas (1.05 percent). Among blue chips, significant gains were posted by Public Power Corporation (up 1.31 percent to 20.08 euros) and betting company OPAP (0.70 percent to 28.68 euros). The top losers were jewelry and accessories maker and retailer Folli-Follie (down 1.38 percent to 25.70 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.30 percent to 9.12 euros) and Piraeus Bank (1.19 percent to 23.22 euros). Turnover reached 291.54 million euros, including 36.09 million in prearranged trades.