Slight gains in thin trade; PPC tumbles

Shares ended with slight gains yesterday in thin trade, as investors stayed on the sidelines, while power utility PPC fell after the Finance Ministry called for minimal rate hikes this year. «The market started on a good footing but then eased at the end, with PPC sliding on news the government plans to keep a lid on tariff increases,» said analyst Nikos Kolios at Dynamic Securities. «There is no clear direction in the market, though the long-term trend seems to be upward,» he added. The general share index closed 0.15 percent up at 2,406.47 points. PPC lost 1.57 percent to 20.04 euros, while water utility EYDAP shed 1.39 percent to 5.68 euros after the Finance Ministry said it wants minimal rate increases to counter inflation pressures. PPC management earlier this year said tariff levels, which it claimed are extremely low compared to European averages, should at least match inflation this year. Gaming company OPAP rose 1.17 percent to 15.54 euros. Blue chips advanced 0.24 percent, mid-caps edged up 0.20 percent but small-caps fell 0.21 percent. Turnover was 98.99 million euros, with 18.86 million euros changing hands. Decliners led advancers 168 to 111. (Reuters)