ECONOMY

Bourse extends gains; index closing in on 2,700

Gains in foreign equity markets inspired buying on the Athens bourse yesterday with the market climbing 2.23 percent to close just short of the 2,700 mark. The international equity climate is positive and this helped increase local buying interest, said analyst Spyros Papathanasiou at Value Capital Securities. The Athens benchmark general index ended just off the day’s high at 2,690.14 points. Buying picked up late in the session and the general index closed at the day’s high. The strong finish points to a good start (today), said another broker. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index added 1.91 percent to 1,482.29 points, with banks advancing 1.78 percent. Mid-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-40 index rose 3.12 percent, while small-caps added 3.13 percent. Telecom stocks advanced 1.47 percent and cellular operator CosmOTE ended at a year-high of 10.98 euros, up 3.98 percent. Turnover was 213.38 million euros on volume of 48.6 million shares. Investors will be more convinced about the sustainability of the gains when we have higher turnover, Papathanasiou said.(Reuters) Opinion polls give Ibrahim Rugova a clear majority with over 50 percent of the vote, but that is of little importance for the average Kosovar. No matter which party wins, the top priority for all of them is Kosovo’s independence. This has been the main reason for the moderate climate that has prevailed during the campaign, unprecedented in the annals of Albanian politics.