ECONOMY

Turnaround helped by rebounding blue chips

Blue chips rebounded yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), leading shares to close at the intraday high. The ASE general index closed at 2,330.30 points, a rise of 21.06 points or 0.91 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips rose 0.96 percent to close at 1,236.24 points, while the mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 0.53 percent and 0.18 percent respectively. Among blue chips, there was considerable interest in shares of metals group Viohalco and cement company Titan, which gained 6.27 percent and 5.78 percent respectively. Investors also sought shares of Duty Free Shops, Public Power Corporation and Hellenic Petroleum. These gained 3.22 percent, 2.11 percent and 1.16 percent respectively. Banks had a mixed performance, with EFG Eurobank gaining strongly (1.57 percent to 18.08 euros), National up 0.91 percent to 17.76 euros, Alpha rising marginally (0.21 percent to 19.34) and Emporiki tumbling 2.77 percent to 18.24 euros, its lowest level this year. Among the 356 stocks traded, 155 gained, 139 declined and 62 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 86.04 million euros, of which 15.01 million concerned pre-arranged share block transfers, including 200,000 Eurobank shares at 17.95 euros and 100,000 PPC shares at 18.94 euros.