Index rises slightly, OTE drops 3.3 percent

Stocks edged higher yesterday as banks continued to advance but gains were capped by a 3.3 percent slide in OTE after it warned profits in its fixed-line business would be lower due to competition. OTE’s shares fell to 8.78 euros, while the Athens benchmark general index gained 0.26 percent to 1,583.78 points. «We’re seeing a continuation of activity in banks which was sparked by the recent sector upgrade by UBS Warburg. But OTE came under pressure,» said analyst Christos Samothrakis at Market Securities. Banks rose 1.15 percent, with National Bank gaining 1.55 percent to 10.46 euros and Commercial Bank up 1.33 percent to 10.68 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index rose 0.18 percent to 762.10 points, while mid-caps rose 0.04 percent and small-caps gained 0.55 percent. Turnover rose to 96.39 million euros, with 32.5 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 176 to 138, with 49 shares unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)