Small- and mid-caps fuel new index rise

Stocks climbed to a new year high yesterday with small- and mid-cap shares fueling the momentum but major banks failing to maintain the brisk pace of previous sessions. Mid-caps gained 1.92 percent to 238.35 points and small-caps 1.83 percent to 665.12 points. Blue chips were flat at 1,086.74 points. The benchmark general share index rose 0.77 percent to 2,175.19 points. «There was brisk trading in small- and mid-caps today with retail investors setting the pace,» said analyst Dimitris Nikolos at Kapa Securities. Shares of the major banks came under pressure, with the banking index down 0.33 percent to 3,718.95 points. «Investors appeared to be booking gains from the recent rally, while others seem to be doing a sector rotation,» said Nikolos. Turnover fell to 219.78 million euros, with 49.6 million shares changing hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 251 to 88, with 30 unchanged. (Reuters)