ECONOMY

ASE briefly drops below 2,000 points, limits losses

The Athens bourse fell to three-year lows yesterday, pulled down by slumping European markets before cutting losses to recapture the 2,100-point mark. Brokers said investors were discounting the likelihood of war and an economic slump in the wake of last week’s attacks in the USA while the expiration of the September stock index futures brought on added volatility. Everyone is looking for the impact recent events will have on the global economy, said Andreas Giakoumakis, analyst at Value Capital Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended 1.31 percent lower at 2,105.56 points after dipping at one point 6.34 percent to October 1998 levels, at 1,997.82 points. The bourse lost 142.8 points, or 6.3 percent, for the week. Telecom stocks again outperformed, gaining 1.14 percent with OTE ending 0.71 percent higher at 17.12 euros. Banks eased 0.80 percent. Blue chips lost 1.07 percent to 1,182.25 points with mid-cap stocks off 3.37 percent. Small-caps fell 2.92 percent. I realize that I cannot speak for all Americans, but the United States that I know and love will not seek eye-for-an-eye vengeance. Nor will it meekly let this moment pass into history with no response. Were President Bush to ask for my advice today, I would urge him, above all, to lead the effort to blur the distinction between SIDES on an earth that is, in fact, the single environment within which we all live and breathe.