Across-the-board gains; index near 2,800 points

Stocks gained ground on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, setting a new year-high for the fourth session running. The session was marked by across-the-board gains, with small-capitalization stocks leading the way this time. Trading picked up somewhat but was still rather thin. The ASE general index closed at 2,788.67 points, a gain of 17.11 points or 0.62 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.54 percent to close at 1,550.51 points, while mid- and small-caps jumped 0.56 percent and 1.78 percent respectively. Several blue chips once again recorded year-highs. These were Piraeus Bank (up 1.09 percent to 12.94 euros), EFG Eurobank Ergasias (0.71 percent to 25.42 euros), Alpha Bank (0.62 percent to 25.90 euros) and state lottery and pools firm OPAP (0.60 percent to 20.18 euros). Other advancing blue chips included telecommunications equipment maker Intracom (2.05 percent to 3.98 euros), bottler Coca Cola HBC (1.96 percent to 17.70 euros) and electricity utility PPC (1.48 percent to 20.56 euros), while National and Emporiki banks suffered mild losses. Of the 354 traded stocks, 227 gained, 56 declined and 72 ended unchanged. Turnover was 118.75 million euros, including 1.81 million in prearranged trades.