ECONOMY

Bourse breaks the February jinx

The Greek stock market notched up a seventh consecutive month of growth on Thursday, breaking a six-year tradition of February losses. The benchmark index also managed to clear the psychologically important 1,000-point mark again on the same day.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,007.99 points on Thursday, expanding 0.95 percent from Wednesday’s closing figure of 998.48 points. It posted a 2.15 percent monthly increase, although the banks index declined for the fourth month in a row.

The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX-25 index grew 0.90 percent from Wednesday, ending at 334.47 points, but the mid-cap index contracted by 0.43 percent.

National Bank rebounded after Wednesday’s fall, adding 5.32 percent. Eurobank Ergasias declined by 5.68 percent.

OTE telecom added 2.11 percent after presenting its 2012 financial results, which beat expectations: Despite the continuing recession and its clash with the market regulator, the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, OTE increased its gains by 16.2 percent compared with 2011, while moving ahead with investments of almost half a billion euros. It also repaid loans adding up to 1 billion euros.

Hellenic Petroleum fell 1.62 percent before announcing an annual 26 percent drop in 2012 profits to 84 million euros. The decline is attributed to the 30 percent decline in fuel consumption since 2009.

In total 83 stocks recorded gains, 70 sustained losses and 25 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 58.7 million euros, against Wednesday’s 50.1 million.