ECONOMY

Stock bargain hunting follows Tuesday’s losses

Shares ended up more than 1 percent yesterday as the market followed on the coattails of major European bourses and investors went bargain hunting. The benchmark general share index added 1.42 percent to 2,123.22 points. Traders said buying interest was sparked by Tuesday’s losses on fears that extra supply of banking paper would drain liquidity. Bellwether National Bank was off 0.33 percent to 18.10 euros. The shares shed 4.72 percent on Tuesday after the Finance Ministry said it would sell 10 percent of the bank to foreign and institutional investors. Piraeus Bank rallied 1.67 percent to 8.54 euros, recovering some of the losses on Tuesday as investors welcomed signals that the placement was also proceeding well. Buying interest spread to heavyweight OTE Telecom, which advanced 2.45 percent to 10.02 euros. Investors cheered construction group Hellenic Technodomiki’s plans to diversify its activities to offset an expected slowdown in the construction sector after the 2004 Olympic Games. Technodomiki shares traded 3.14 percent up to 4.60 euros. Turnover rose to 171.73 million euros, with 34.5 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners by 281 to 42 with 37 unchanged against 360 traded. (Reuters)