ECONOMY

OTE surges, nudges index above 2,300 pts

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index yesterday rebounded to the 2.300-point level after 15 trading sessions, helped by continued buying interest in blue chips and a positive climate in other European markets. The index gained 21.99 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,304.25. Heavyweight OTE Telecom outperformed, gaining 4.40 percent to 10.44 euros, bolstered by a company statement that it plans to cut expenses and lower staff costs. OTE reported a bigger-than-expected drop in first-half profit. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index gained 1.17 percent and mid-caps ended 0.63 percent higher. Small-caps failed to join the trend, edging up only 0.13 percent. Telecoms led sectoral indices with gains of 2.14 percent and construction followed, ending 2.02 percent higher. Banks were up 0.83 percent. Among other blue chips, Coca-Cola HBC, Germanos, Folli-Follie and CosmOTE headed south, but OPAP, the Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Technodomiki, Aluminium of Greece, Titan, Intracom, Hellenic Petroleum and Intralot recorded gains. Turnover reached 80.47 million euros, while advancers outnumbered decliners by 146 to 118, with 87 stocks remaining unchanged.