National, back in form, pulls index up

Equities jumped back into the black yesterday after three days of weakness with heavyweight National Bank regaining form as pressure eased after it traded ex-dividend on Monday. National gained 4.09 percent to 13.24 euros, bumping up the Athens benchmark general index 1.62 percent to 1,732.44 points. «National was the leader of the pack again, regaining losses after it traded without the dividend. It and Alpha were the two who led the market higher (yesterday),» said analyst Elias Lazaris from Artion Securities. Blue chips gained 1.85 percent to 857.01 points while mid-caps rose 1.5 percent. Small-caps jumped 3.16 percent due, brokers said, to rejigging on the bourse, which prompted some portfolio reshuffling. Turnover rose to 109.62 million euros after Monday’s 72.03 million euros, with 33.3 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 296 to 33 with 31 shares ending unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters)