ECONOMY

Buying interest spreads to lesser capitalizations

The Athens bourse headed north again yesterday, with buying interest diffused across the spectrum, particularly in medium- and small-capitalizations. The general index gained 1.02 percent to close at 2,849.31 points. Among blue chips, several small banks appeared particularly perky, with Egnatia gaining 10.14 percent, Agricultural advancing 5.28 percent and Cyprus gaining 3.86 percent. However, banks as a whole edged only 0.06 percent higher. Telecoms also performed well, with CosmOTE gaining 2.55 percent and OTE 1.99 percent. Intracom was 4.76 percent higher and OPAP 3.97 percent. Among sectoral indices, information technology outperformed with gains of 3.85 percent and insurance firms 3.18 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index closed 0.85 percent higher. The Mid-Cap 40 index climbed 1.88 percent and the Small-Cap 80 gained 1.64 percent. The top outperformers were Q&R (18.18 percent), Alfa Alfa Holdings (15.38 percent) and EYDAP (13.33 percent). Turnover receded to 201.34 million euros, of which 16.38 million was accounted for by block trades. After several sessions, advancers outnumbered decliners, 181 to 99, while 70 stock prices remained unchanged.