ECONOMY

Early rally fizzles but index still ends higher

Equities closed marginally higher yesterday at the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) on late profit-taking after a good intrasession run, with banks in focus ahead of next week’s earnings kickoff. The general share index closed 0.23 percent higher at 2,522.25 points, having broken its assumed resistance levels intraday to reach 2,549.84 points. «The rise is due to inflows from foreign institutionals, especially in OTE and the blue chips, as well as to a positive climate in European markets,» said analyst Elias Lazaris of Artion Securities. Blue chips rose 0.40 percent, mid-caps gained 0.28 percent, while small-caps ended just 0.03 percent down. Intracom enjoyed a good rally, to close 2.47 percent up at 4.98 euros. «The stock is moving up on the back of international buying, and also on the lasting momentum of the Raytheon people being in town,» a trader said. Representatives of US defense group Raytheon visited Intracom facilities earlier in the week and according to press reports, expressed interest in expanding cooperation with the telecoms equipment maker. Turnover fell slightly to 182.26 million euros, with 27.8 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 153 to 131, with 81 shares ending unchanged. (Reuters)