ECONOMY

Blue chips lift index slightly; volume rises

Shares rebounded yesterday, closing at a nine-day high, buoyed by gains in banks and telecom stocks and on the back of positive sentiment across Europe. «Investors appear to be shedding small-caps in favor of blue chips, considering them to be more stable investments. Sentiment should improve in the coming weeks in view of upbeat economic data in the US and the uptrend in foreign markets,» said analyst Nikos Akkitzidis at Axon Securities. The general share index closed 0.43 percent higher at 2,349.16 points. Blue chips gained 0.87 percent but mid-caps and small-caps shed 0.16 percent and 0.15 percent, respectively. OTE closed 2.10 percent up at 10.68 euros, a two-week closing high, while its mobile arm CosmOTE rose 2.54 percent to 12.90 euros. Traders said the stocks were making up for losses in the previous day. Piraeus Bank was the biggest blue-chip gainer, closing 3.23 percent up at 9.60 euros. Hellenic Petroleum fell 3.92 percent to 6.86 euros, giving up recent gains fueled by news the oil refiner was set to appoint a new chief executive. Turnover reached 241.63 million euros, with 50.14 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 178 to 115, with 69 shares unchanged. (Reuters)