ECONOMY

New three-year high set by buoyant blue chips

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, reaching yet another year-high. The rise was again fueled by a few blue chips, while small-capitalization stocks experienced selling pressure. The ASE general index closed at 2,731.27 points, a gain of 26.28 points or 0.97 percent. This closing level was last reached in mid-November 2001. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.10 percent to close at 1,513.43 points. Mid-caps gained 0.40 percent, while small-caps declined 1.13 percent. EFG Eurobank was one of the session’s stars, gaining 3.54 percent to close at a year-high 23.98 euros. National Bank also reached a year-high of 23.94 euros after gaining 0.76 percent. OTE was an exception among blue chips, declining 0.30 percent to close at 13.22 euros, as investors pocketed significant gains from the previous week, when OTE was the motor driving the market upward. Significant blue-chip gainers included Intracom (3.16 percent), Duty Free Shops (2.69 percent), OPAP (1.75 percent), Germanos (1.53 percent) and PPC (1.20 percent). Of the 359 traded stocks, 97 gained, 195 declined and 67 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 182.12 million euros, including 51.03 million in prearranged trades.