Hot blue chips hold out against profit-taking

Stocks gained slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, despite a late-session bout of profit-taking inspired by rumors, later proved to be false, of a missile attack on Iran. The ASE general index closed at 3,025.46 points, a gain of 12.05 points or 0.40 percent. Earlier in the session, it had risen as high as 3,051.35 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.52 percent to close at 1,676.64 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.08 percent and 0.26 percent respectively. Interest in OTE shares was largely responsible for driving the market upward. OTE gained 1.14 percent to close at 14.14 euros, a 52-week high. Other blue chips with significant gains included Coca-Cola HBC (up 2.53 percent to 19.48 euros), Viohalco (1.74 percent to 7 euros) and National Bank (0.97 percent to 26.98 euros). By contrast, Titan cement declined 1.93 percent to close at 27.46 euros. Information technology stocks posted the biggest sectoral gains, while insurance and textiles declined 1.68 percent and 1.49 percent respectively. Of 348 traded stocks, 124 gained, 167 declined and 57 ended unchanged. Turnover jumped to 346.36 million euros, including 45.31 million in prearranged trades.

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