New year-high as index ends at nearly 2,700 pts

Stocks rose slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) to close at just under 2,700 points and set yet another year-high. The section had its slight ups and downs, with the general index initially dropping 0.68 percent, following the trend in other European markets. It recovered gradually, at one point reaching 2,703.92 points (+0.57 percent) before falling back toward the end. Finally, the index closed at 2,699.52 points, a gain of 10.86 points or 0.40 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.56 percent to close at 1,477.80 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.47 percent and 0.08 percent, respectively. There was investor interest in bank stocks, apparently because of hopes for a solution on financing the banks’ social security funds. EFG Eurobank Ergasias gained 2.17 percent to close at 22.60 euros, while Alpha gained 1.40 percent to close at 24.62 euros. OTE ended unchanged at 12.50 euros, while mobile telecoms subsidiary CosmOTE gained 0.43 percent to close at 14 euros. Out of the 357 traded stocks, 138 gained, 150 declined and 69 ended unchanged. Turnover declined to 171.37 million euros, including 21 million in prearranged trades.