ECONOMY

Upbeat smaller shares lift general index 1.38 pct

Small- and mid-cap stocks kicked off the year in an upbeat mood, recording large gains and leading the Athens bourse 1.38 percent higher yesterday with the construction sector surging 7.21 percent. «The market reacted after a few days of inactivity. We had very low turnover making it easy for stocks to move in either direction,» said Costas Zareifopoulos, analyst at Pentedekas Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,627.28 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps advanced 2.96 percent and small-caps gained 5.03 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips underperformed, gaining 0.64 percent to 1,438.03 points. Construction stocks soared 7.21 percent and tech stocks gained 5.36 percent. Banks firmed 0.25 percent. The National Bank of Greece slipped 0.37 percent to 26.62 euros and Alpha Bank firmed 0.20 percent to 20.06 euros. Telecoms gained 1.13 percent and index heavyweight OTE Telecom rose 0.11 percent to 18.32 euros. Turnover was 84.02 million euros on 20.1 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 327 to 23, with eight unchanged on 358 traded.(Reuters)