Market looks for reason to rise to higher levels

Shares ended the week with mild losses in quiet trade yesterday, with investors still taking up Vodafone’s offer for their Panafon shares and many rebalancing their portfolios by buying other telecoms. The benchmark general share index closed down 0.33 percent to 2,187.24 points on the day, or 0.8 percent up on the week. «The market, with a limited danger of a slide, is looking for major news or an upward move in Europe to boost it to higher levels,» said Vassilis Antoniadis, head fund manager at Marfin Mutual Funds Management. Turnover and volumes were boosted by around 4.3 million Panafon shares which changed hands as investors took up an offer by Britain’s Vodafone to buy up the remaining chunk of Panafon it does not own. Panafon shares were flat at Vodafone’s offer price of 6.18 euros. Vodafone said before the market opened yesterday that it had raised its stake to just over 80 percent. Index heavyweight OTE rose 0.19 percent to 10.48 euros after a more than 2 percent profit-taking slide the previous day, having spent most of the week in demand as funds that sold Panafon rejigged their telecoms portfolio by buying OTE. Turnover fell to 132.39 million euros, with 24.1 million shares changing hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 92 to 204, with 63 ending unchanged. (Reuters)