ECONOMY

Marfin’s bids bolster market

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) composite share price index closed last Friday at 4,615.47 points, a gain of 1.21 percent on the previous week’s close. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips was up 1.39 percent to close at 2,518.22 points, the FTSE/Athex Mid-40 rose 2.07 percent to close at 5,383.90 points, but the FTSE/Athex Small-Cap 80 was down 0.37 percent, closing at 888.86 points, the composite FTSE/Athex 140 index rose by 1.45 percent to close at 5,627.22 points and the FTSE/Athex International index added 1.51 percent to close at 6,607.78 points. Ten of 17 sectoral indices gained ground, headed by health (up 4.01 percent), construction (3.74 percent) and raw materials (3.21 percent). Banks were up 1.97 percent. Oil and gas led the losers, ending 2.84 percent lower. Among individual stocks, the top gainers were Varvaressos (up 57.33 percent), Tasoglou (53.85 percent), Naoussa Spinning Mills (32.43 percent) and Kego (28 percent). The top losers were Emporikos Desmos (down 31.25 percent), Elfiko (18.44 percent), Vis (17.60 percent) and Kreka (14.29 percent). Weekly turnover totaled 2.47 billion euros, averaging 493.75 million per session, against 372.29 million the week before. Analysts note that significant developments in the banking sector bolstered market sentiment last week, and more will be needed if this is to be maintained this week. Otherwise, the ASE is seen as following trends in foreign markets. The new highs that the market has attained after steep gains this year dictate caution, they add, and a correction may be considered likely.