ECONOMY

Index resumes upward climb, led by blue chips

Shares resumed their climb yesterday, notching up gains of more than 2 percent on upbeat research notes, with bank and telecoms stocks steaming ahead. The general share index added 2.16 percent to 2,489.37 points, edging closer to the 2,500-mark level, lifted by a 2.40 percent rise in blue chips. Mid-caps gained 2.23 percent, while small-caps rose 1.58 percent. «The index is now within sight of the 2,500-point level, with previously inactive retail investors entering the market on upbeat research notes and amid prospects of limited downside risks,» said Costas Vergos, head of research at Pendethekas Securities. General Bank continued its winning streak, which was sparked off by news earlier this week that France’s Societe Generale is due to be its majority stakeholder, gaining 8.33 percent to 7.28 euros. OTE was another strong performer, rising 2.22 percent to 11.98 euros. «I believe OTE is undervalued in terms of its price earnings ratio. The stock will be favored by investors once Panafon is delisted,» said Vergos. Turnover rose to 231.04 million euros, with 34.8 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 248 to 67 with 46 unchanged. (Reuters)