ECONOMY

Interest in all sectors

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index gained 3.33 percent over last week’s four trading sessions, closing at 2,451.72 points on Thursday. Weekly turnover, including block trades, reached 466.08 million euros – representing an average daily of 116.52 million, which was slightly below the previous week’s average. Buying interest spread to all capitalization categories but focused on blue chips. The FTSE/ASE-20 advanced 3.51 percent, mid-caps were 3.01 percent higher and small-caps 3.00 percent. The composite FTSE/ASE-140 gained 3.41 percent. Technical analysts said that if the index is to maintain its momentum, daily turnover must average more than 150 million. This is considered likely in view of a number of Greek and foreign recent positive reports on the five biggest banks, which forecast their average first-quarter profitability to rise in excess of 20 percent. All sectoral indices gained, led by printing and publishing (6.98 percent) and basic metals (5.18 percent). Seven other indices recorded gains of more than 3 percent; banks ended 3.79 percent higher. Among the 367 stocks traded, 265 advanced, 78 declined and 24 remained unchanged. Cor-Fil led all advancers, rising 29.41 percent. It was followed by Pegasus (22.58 percent). Decliners were led by Elviemek (-12.36 percent). The most heavily trade stocks were OPAP, National Bank and the Public Power Corporation, all with average daily turnovers of more than 11 million euros. A number of foreign investment bank delegations, starting with UBS, are due in Athens for talks with Greek firms this week.