New year-high follows good news on euro, oil

Stocks gained ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), tracking European markets which rose because of the fall of the euro and the price of oil. This time, however, it was medium- and small-capitalization stocks that drove the market. The ASE general index closed at a new year-high of 2,672.27 points, a gain of 25.21 points or 0.95 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.95 percent to close at 1,470.41 points, while the mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 1.35 percent and 1.31 percent respectively. There was great interest on the part of foreign institutionals for OPAP shares. Consequently, the state-owned betting company gained 2.47 percent to register yet another year-high of 19.88 euros per share. Viohalco also set a new year-high at 6.70 euros, a gain of 2.76 percent. Other big blue chip gainers included Intracom (3.66 percent to 3.96 euros), Titan (3.10 percent to 21.30 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.49 percent to 23.18 euros) and Public Power Corporation (1,39 percent to 20.42 euros). OTE, the most heavily traded stock yesterday, ended unchanged at 12.50 euros. Out of 359 traded shares, 180 gained, 106 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover was 183.16 million euros, including 45.5 million in prearranged trades.