ASE follows European markets, rises 1.31 pct

Shares rose significantly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as the market followed other European bourses on their way up. The ASE general index closed at 2,383.49 points, a gain of 30.83 points or 1.31 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.36 percent to close at 1,295.78 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 1.40 percent and 1.36 percent respectively. Domestic investors first focused their interest on banks, before buying interest spread across the board. Among bank stocks, Alpha gained 2.21 percent to close at 21.26 euros, EFG Eurobank was up 1.36 percent to 19.34 percent and National gained 1.22 percent to 19.86 euros. Other gaining blue chips included cement company Titan (up 3.68 percent to yet another year-high of 21.98 euros), telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (2.67 percent to 3.08 euros), state-control betting company OPAP (1.78 percent to 16.04 euros), OTE Telecom (1.27 percent to 11.14 euros) and Hellenic Petroleum (1.18 percent to 6.88 euros). Out of 358 traded shares, 199 gained, 84 declined and 75 ended unchanged. Turnover was 112.14 million euros, including 9.42 million on prearranged trades of share blocks.