ECONOMY

Market recovers on the strength of blue chips

Shares ended with small gains yesterday, staying shy of the 2,500 mark but helped by rising European markets and a rise in index heavyweight OTE and EFG Eurobank. The benchmark general share index ended 0.49 percent higher at 2,445.38 points after a 2 percent slide in the previous session. «The market consolidated on the back of a few stocks, like OTE and Eurobank,» said Vassilis Antoniadis at Marfin Mutual Funds Management. «Investors were selling banks, mostly Alpha and National, to cash in on their recent rise, and buying OTE,» a trader added. OTE closed 1.98 percent up at 12.34 euros on the back of a UBS note raising its target price and a good day for telecoms shares across Europe, traders said. «OTE is held by many sector-tracking funds abroad, and it benefited from the telecoms rally in Europe,» another trader said. UBS raised OTE’s price target to 10.3 euros from 9.0 previously. Eurobank closed 3.11 percent up at 16.60 euros. National slid 1.25 percent to 22.12 euros, while Alpha closed 0.41 percent down to 24.18 euros. Trading volume rose to 223.90 million euros, with 31.6 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 148 to 137, with 65 stocks ending unchanged. (Reuters)