Blue chips rebound

Greek stocks rebounded after two straight losing weeks last week, with the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ending 1.15 percent higher on Friday than a week earlier, at 3,073.64 points. Turnover surged to a three-month high of 1.13 billion euros, an average of 226.55 million per session, from 163.96 million the previous week. The rebound, helped by positive sentiment in European markets as oil prices receded, was mainly driven by buying interest in blue chips, particularly telecoms, whose sectoral index added a robust 4.65 percent in the week. OTE reached a new year-high of 16.36 euros on Friday. Lottery firm OPAP and Alpha and National banks fluctuated widely in response to market news. OPAP climbed from 21.28 to 24 euros on news of a deal with Intralot to boost flagging betting revenues before receding to 23.30 on Friday. Alpha shed 6.37 percent after below-expectations first-quarter results and unfavorable investment bank reports, in contrast with National, which rose 3.42 percent on Friday to end the week 1.47 percent up. Twelve of the 18 sectoral indices ended lower. Construction fared worst after several firms reported drops in first-quarter profitability, ending with losses of 7.01 percent. Printing & publishing shed 3.73 percent. The big winners were insurance and textiles, which finished 6.48 and 4.86 percent higher. Of 348 stocks traded, 137 gained, 170 ended lower and 40 finished with their prices unchanged from a week earlier. The most heavily traded stocks were Alpha Bank, OPAP and OTE.

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