ASE rebounds as blue chips spur interest

The Greek stock market rebounded after three straight losing sessions, spurred by banking blue chips. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index gained 0.66 percent to close at 2,898.73 points. The FTSE index of 20 blue chips ended 0.99 percent higher, while the mid- and small-cap indices advanced 0.85 percent and 0.69 percent respectively. Banks gained 2.17 percent, led by Alpha with 3.83 percent and National with 2.10 percent. Emporiki was 0.26 percent up, after UBS advised a significant reduction in the target price from 30 to 23 euros and downgraded its recommendation from «buy» to «neutral,» considering that the solution to its social insurance fund problem would involve a share capital increase by the state which would lower profits for other shareholders. Intralot and Olympic Technical registered new year highs, advancing 2.62 percent and 4.98 percent respectively. Telecoms headed south, 0.60 percent, but refineries gained 1.74 percent. Turnover edged up to 219.34 million euros, of which 30.26 million concerned block trades, including a total of 237,846 shares of OTE Telecom. Among the 351 shares traded, advancers outnumbered decliners 148 to 124.

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