ECONOMY

Blue chips close at eight-month high

Stocks jumped in late afternoon trade yesterday, with the benchmark general index ending at the day’s highs as US data showed the world’s biggest economy shed fewer jobs than expected and helped spur European blue chips higher. Blue chips rose 2.66 percent to 942.02 points, the highest close for eight months, led by gains in OTE and banks. «The upbeat sentiment (abroad) has rubbed off on the Greek bourse and institutional investors are building up their portfolios,» said analyst Costas Zareifopoulos at Pendethekas Securities. The Athens benchmark general index gained 2.43 percent to 1,876.64 points, gaining almost 10 percent this week. OTE gained 4.19 percent to 10.44 euros. This week the shares have advanced 17 percent. Mid-caps grew 2.56 percent, while small-caps rose 3.55 percent. Turnover was flat at 173.9 million euros, with 44.3 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 294 to 34, with 38 shares unchanged on 366 traded. (Reuters)