ECONOMY

Rally extended as OTE takes the lead

Stocks, led by heavyweight OTE Telecom, extended strong gains yesterday, setting a fresh high for this year. The benchmark general share index climbed 1.77 percent to 2,078.12 points. OTE gained 3.11 percent to 10.60 euros, with the shares up by nearly 8 percent in the last two sessions. «There’s general relief among investors over telecoms stocks,» said analyst George Pittas at Hellenic American Securities. OTE said last week it planned to shut down indebted Romanian mobile company CosmoRom and hold on to the license, with investors welcoming the strategy. National Bank, Greece’s largest, joined the general rally and moved up 1.8 percent to 17 euros. Mid-caps and small-caps surged 2.12 percent and 1.75 percent respectively. Advancers led decliners 243 to 73, with 50 unchanged. Turnover rose to 219.39 million euros with 53 million shares changing hands. (Reuters)