Blue chips on rebound, small-caps pulled along

Shares rebounded strongly after a recent run of gloomy sessions on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, helped by a positive climate elsewhere in Europe. Investors displayed keen interest in blue chips, spreading to small-capitalization stocks that had taken the brunt of the recent negative sentiment. The general index closed 1.26 percent up, at 2,342.72 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index gained 1.57 percent, mid-caps were up 1.37 percent and small-caps regained 1.41 percent. Alpha Bank outperformed with gains of 4.19 percent and National Bank advanced 1.93 percent, while Hellenic Petroleum continued last week’s strong performance, surging 3.49 percent higher on rumors that the government is planning to shed a further 8.2 percent interest in Greece’s biggest refiner. OTE Telecom advanced 2.15 percent on reports that its convertible bond loan will be bought back by the government. Among sectoral indices, textiles and publishing firms outperformed with gains of 4.23 and 4.18 percent respectively. Turnover reached 128.19 million euros. Advancers led decliners 219 to 77 on 358 traded.