Little market movement on a quiet trading day

Shares ended marginally down on a day of quiet trade yesterday, with Alpha Bank again emerging as the lead actor with another year-high after a rating upgrade. The general share index edged down 0.09 percent to 2,203.56 points. The banking sector, led by Alpha, was pushed slightly higher to end 0.23 percent up. Alpha, the most active stock among blue chips for the day, hit a year-high for the third session in a row, closing 1.69 percent up at 22.84 euros, on the back of rating agency Moody’s upping the bank’s financial strength rating to C from a previous C-. Alpha has gained 8 percent in the last three sessions. «In general, there has been a shift from telecoms to banks, which is considered to be good, as banks are usually the sector that leads to a rise in the stock market,» said Marios Georgakopoulos, chief analyst at Cyprus Securities. «Alpha’s shares were boosted today by Moody’s upgrade, but according to target prices set by most of the foreign securities firms the stock has further room to rise,» he added. Turnover fell slightly to 123.54 million euros, with 22.5 million shares changing hands. Advancers trailed decliners 79 to 213, with 62 unchanged. (Reuters)