ECONOMY

Index back above 2,700 points, but investors wary

Firm banks led the Athens bourse 0.53 percent higher to rise above 2,700 points yesterday, but index heavyweight OTE Telecom weakened ahead of its nine-month results expected later this week. Brokers said the market took a breather after the recent rally triggered by the National-Alpha Bank merger, but caution has crept in as players question the market’s ability to hold on to current levels. There was an important correction in banks last week but this was a bit sudden. Today’s bank gains are a natural reaction to the slide, said analyst Andreas Giakoumakis at Value Capital Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,700.13 points. Blue chips rose 0.73 percent to 1,473.96 points. Mid-caps on the FTSE/ASE-40 index rose 1.09 percent and small-caps 1.11 percent. Banks gained 1.69 percent and construction stocks 1.30 percent. The Greek stock market looks undecided as participants in world markets try to justify the recent rally with real economic data in order to maintain current price levels, said Niki Marcelou, derivatives trader at Rate Capital Securities. They have to pay just as they would if they came to my private practice, where either they themselves or their insurance fund pays. It is separate from free medical care. Of course, in order to attract patients and to treat them you need the appropriate environment. You can’t have them waiting for five hours in a queue to pay. In Germany, the professor’s secretary notes the appointments, the tests and so on, that are billed to the patient and usually paid by the insurance fund, he explained.