Stocks slightly up; trade sinks to year-low

Stocks rose yesterday in the slowest trading day so far this year with small- and mid-cap stocks drawing interest as blue chips languished in the absence of any news and a market holiday in the United States. «US investors are largely absent today due to the holiday, which may explain the fall in trading volumes,» said one broker. The benchmark general index rose 0.38 percent, to 1,685.76 points. Total turnover hit 35.51 million euros, a new 52-week low. The previous low of 36.69 million euros was scored a week earlier. A total of 12.5 million shares changed hands. «Investors are just biding their time. The market is consolidating so that it’s ready to follow when there’s some real news,» said head analyst Vassilis Vlastarakis at Contalexis Securities. Blue chips rose 0.27 percent, while both mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.95 percent. Winners beat losers 216 to 82, with 62 shares unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters)