ECONOMY

Stocks shake off early jitters, end up 0.25 percent

Moderate gains in banks led the Athens bourse 0.25 percent higher yesterday as the market overcame early jitters related to ETBA Bank after news of irregularities in its finance subsidiary. «The market consolidated around the 2,600-point mark. The ETBA Bank incident does not look like it really hurt sentiment. We were expecting it to have a larger negative impact,» said Grigoris Karayiannopoulos, analyst at Bank of Cyprus Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index firmed 0.25 percent to 2,624.46 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips firmed 0.28 percent to 1,434.19 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps rose 0.25 percent and small-caps advanced 0.53 percent. The bank subindex gained 0.43 percent, but telecoms slipped 0.27 percent. Refinery group Hellenic Petroleum – which is expected to team up with a strategic partner by Easter – also ranked among the blue chip outperformers, gaining 2.64 percent to 7.0 euros. Turnover was 141.33 million euros on volume of 27.05 million shares. Winners beat losers 182 to 125, with 53 unchanged on 360 traded.(Reuters)