Small-cap stocks gain more ground

Greek stocks failed to hold on to the significant gains they had posted at mid-session on Monday as investors chose to sell bank shares and buying interest focused on small-caps.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,458.65 points, expanding by 0.88 percent from last Friday?s close at 1,445.86 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew 0.16 percent to end at 680.86 points. The small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 registered gains of 2.08 percent.

Greek banking stocks will ?remain volatile? this year as deposit outflows, bad loans and the European sovereign debt crisis weigh on investor sentiment, Marfin Popular Bank?s brokerage unit said on Monday.

?We view ongoing discussions at the eurozone level on the sovereign debt crisis and government deficits of peripherals as continuing to affect the performance of Greek banks,? Athens-based Marfin Analysis suggested in a statement.

ATEbank led blue chips with a 6.85 rise. Piraeus Bank was the worst off, shrinking by 4.91 percent.

In total 114 stocks moved up, 53 went down and 58 remained unchanged. Corinth Pipeworks led the gainers with growth of 19.40 percent, while Mouzakis posted the biggest loss with a 16 percent decline. Turnover came to 80.4 million euros.