ECONOMY

National Bank leads mid-session recovery

Shares recovered Monday’s losses on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, but the market reverted to its usual «two-tier» appearance, with blue chips recovering midway through the session and small-caps under selling pressure. More than 70 stocks registered 52-week lows. The ASE general index recovered from a bad start to close at 2,849.07 points, a gain of 22.49 points or 0.80 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.13 percent to close at 1,585.17 points, while mid-caps and small-caps dropped 0.70 percent and 0.56 percent respectively. National Bank led the recovery, rising 2.59 percent to close at 25.32 euros, after Merrill Lynch upgraded its recommendation to «buy» and raised the price target to 31.80 euros. Other gaining blue chips included cement firm Titan (up 3.24 percent to 22.92 euros), jewelry retailer Folli-Follie (2.45 percent to 21.72 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (2.18 percent to 18.74 euros), OTE Telecom (2.13 percent to 13.44 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.79 percent to 23.90 euros) and electricity utility PPC (1.76 percent to 21.96 euros). Of the 355 traded shares, 80 gained, 217 declined and 58 ended unchanged. Turnover was 180.78 million euros, including 10.11 million in prearranged trades.