ECONOMY

Stocks cling onto gains

Greek stocks ended in positive territory on Thursday, as selective buying in blue chips sent lottery and sports betting firm OPAP and power company PPC higher.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index inched ahead 0.14 percent to 1,570.05 points, after dipping to as low as 1,553 points during mid-session trade. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index ended up 0.12 percent, at 729.72 points.

OPAP rose 3.31 percent to 15.29 euros after jumping more than 8 percent on Wednesday. PPC also outperformed, rising 2.68 percent to 11.89 euros.

Banks ended 0.84 percent lower. National Bank slipped 1.48 percent to 6.65 euros but Eurobank EFG gained 2.44 percent to 4.20 euros.

Aegean Airlines firmed 0.46 percent to 2.18 euros, a day after the European Union competitions watchdog blocked a proposed merger with Olympic Air (OA) on the grounds that it would create a monopoly.

National Securities said that the result had been largely priced into Aegean?s share but added that the company remains exposed to sustained pricing pressures in a recessionary environment and that there remains the risk of a new entrant in Greece via OA. Marfin Investment Group, which owns OA, dropped 1.45 percent to 0.68 euros.

Turnover reached 110 million euros versus 131 million in the previous session.