ECONOMY

PPC and OTE Q1 results drive market upward

Shares extended gains yesterday, with buying interest fueled by forecast-beating results from power utility PPC and recent loser OTE back in favor despite poor first-quarter figures. «Blue chips were in focus today with the spotlight on PPC, which could climb further on the back of positive quarterly earnings, and OTE, considered a bargain after falling below 10 euros,» said analyst Christos Samothrakis at Market Securities. «With the exception of OTE, first-quarter corporate results were satisfactory and justify a small rise in the index toward the 2,500 level,» he added. The general share index ended 1.31 percent up at 2,382.96 points. PPC was the biggest blue chip gainer, adding 4.86 percent to 19.84 euros after it beat market expectations by posting a 12.3 percent rise in first-quarter group core profit. OTE climbed 4.82 percent to 10.44 euros. «Investors have already discounted the poor results and viewed the stock a buying opportunity after its recent losses,» said Samothrakis. Blue chips ended 1.48 percent higher, mid-caps rose 0.27 percent while small-caps advanced 0.64 percent. Turnover rose to 168.33 million euros, with 41 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 167 to 118. (Reuters)